We all know, intuitively, that employees are the life blood of any organization. Well, it’s more than a hunch. Many studies have proven the huge business benefits and dollar values associated with employee engagement. This should get your attention: Companies with engaged employees have 28% higher gross margins, 18% higher productivity, and 37% less absenteeism. No wonder they outperform companies without engaged employees by up to 202% and achieve 3.5 greater earnings per share.
The Importance of Employee Engagement infographic by GOOD & CO shows that a 5% increase in employee engagement predicts a 3% sales increase and that 90% of leaders think an employee engagement strategy will have impact on business success. Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence of the business benefits of engaged employees, 71% of all employees are not fully engaged and only 25% of leaders have an engagement strategy. Huge opportunity missed, and huge opportunity cost!
Key Drivers to Employee Engagement
The Importance of Engagement by Dale Carnegie Training indicates that there are three key drivers to employee engagement: relationship with direct manager, belief in senior leadership, and pride in the company’s contributions to society. OK, so, leadership is clearly part of the problem! But, they can also be part of the solution.
How to Improve the Bottom Line with Employee Engagement Strategies
Research by The Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB), involving millions of employees across several industries, found that, on average, every employee who participates in corporate community engagement activities adds $2,400 of value to the company as a result of decreased turnover and increased employee engagement.
By focusing on key driver of employee engagement #3, strategies that increase employee pride in the company’s contributions to society, leadership can create real dollar value. So, what might that look like?
Customize to Needs & Preferences
To maximize success, companies should create employee volunteerism programs that are meaningful to employees. For example, according to 2014 Millennial Impact Report – researched by Achieve and sponsored by the Case Foundation – Millennial employees preferred volunteering with a group of co-workers, and 62% prefer doing cause work with employees they work with directly or were in their department, rather than with employees they don’t know. And, the top three factors that spur Millennials to engage in a cause are being passionate about the issue, meeting like-minded people, and enhancing their expertise.
Include Opportunities for Professional Development
Look for ways to support business objectives through volunteer programs, when possible, such as skills-based volunteering. Deloitte’s “Leading with Ethics” study reports that 84% of their pro bono projects resulted in new business efforts. And, a 2011 IBM study found that 88% of their Corporate Service Corps participants reported that they had improved their leadership skills though their pro bono work. The “A Billion+ Change” campaign reports similar forms of return on investment for pro bono support – see infographic excerpts.
Incorporate the Proven Power of Cause Marketing
According to the 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study, nearly all global consumers expect companies to act responsibly, but ½ need to hear or see proof of a company’s responsibility before they will believe it.
Your corporate community engagement program is an opportunity to encourage your employees to support the nonprofit organizations and cause programs that express your brand’s core values. By doing so, you can create an army of brand ambassadors building relationships and achieving meaningful impact in local communities on your behalf. At INPEx, we call this local cause activation @ SCALE and it’s at the heart of how we serve our clients. In the past, cause activation at scale was difficult and cost prohibitive, but we’ve pioneered a proven local activation system that makes it efficient to engage corporate volunteers at scale in local communities and that delivers the ROI measurement and storytelling content collection all organizations need.
Still not sure about investing in employee engagement? Check out this very cool visual Employee Engagement ROI Calculator to see the specific return on investment your company can achieve on employee engagement programs. You may be surprised!
Photo Credit: Money Rolls