The Impact Insider

Engagement best practices, tips, and trends.

Deepening engagement requires vigilance and perseverance.

Every Friday we help you dig deeper into developing a highly engaged workforce by delivering the industry’s top engagement information, inspiration, and impactful tips straight to your inbox.

The Engagement Fallacy

More than a “nice-to-have”

In the relentless pursuit of short-term financial gains and client retention, many firms inadvertently overlook a critical success factor: employee engagement. Especially in businesses where intellectual capital is king, the role of engagement cannot be overstated, yet it often fails to climb to the top of the strategic agenda. Why is this the case?

First, the intangible nature of engagement makes it a difficult metric to quantify and track, unlike revenue generation or production output, e.g. billable hours. Many firms struggle with identifying clear strategies to enhance engagement, making it seem like a nebulous concept rather than a solid investment.

Second, the pressure for short-term financial results often overshadows long-term strategies like building an engaged workforce. With the focus intensely on immediate returns, investments in engagement seem less urgent.

Lastly, there isn’t a “quick fix.” Improving engagement requires a variety of efforts—engagement surveys, management training, procedure adjustments, to name a few. It also often perceived as a “nice-to-have” rather than a critical driver of business success. This undervaluation of employee engagement is possibly the most significant barrier to its prioritization.

The Unignorable Benefits of Engagement

Statistics from Gallup show that engagement has an unequivocal impact on performance:

  • Engaged businesses outperform their competitors by a staggering 202%.
  • Engaged team members are 45% more productive than those who are just satisfied.
  • Profitability soars by 23% in companies with higher levels of engagement.

These numbers are significant; they speak the language of business leaders everywhere. Yet, it’s the less tangible benefits that are just as critical.

Workforce commitment: An engaged workforce willingly goes beyond their basic duties, adding immense value through increased commitment and creativity. This dedication not only boosts work output but also minimizes turnover.

Trusting teams: Engagement nurtures trust within teams, leading to better collaboration and enhanced end results. Trusted teams communicate openly, innovate effectively, and handle challenges constructively.

Authentic culture: High engagement encourages a culture where individuals can be their authentic selves, resulting in a diverse, innovative, and loyal workforce. Feeling valued for both their contributions and who they are, employees are empowered to contribute to the organization’s vision wholeheartedly.

Convincing Management: Strategies for Prioritizing Engagement

To move engagement up the strategic ladder, here are some approaches to persuade firm management:

Present case studies: There’s power in proof. Present case studies from businesses within the same sector that have successfully integrated engagement strategies. Real-world examples showcasing the benefits can serve as templates and inspire buy-in from management.

Begin collecting data: Examine work teams or groups who are performing well and/or underperforming and start tracking productivity, retention, attrition, client growth, etc. Then look to see if the group is behaving in ways to increase or decrease engagement.

Create a pilot program: Propose a small-scale engagement initiative with clear objectives and measurable outcomes. A pilot program can serve as a proof of concept, providing tangible results that can advocate for a broader firmwide engagement strategy.

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