While attending the recent SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in Orlando, a common theme became apparent when talking with numerous HR practitioners and company executives.

After talking about and/or demonstrating An Even Better Place to Work we were frequently asked questions that went along the lines of "what are the impacts and costs to our organization of a disengaged workforce?", "What's the R.O.I" or "how can we build a business case to implement a new/better engagement program?"

Employee Engagement is critical in today's workforce and the need to address it in new ways is more important than ever.

Let's take a look at a few key factors that can be used to determine your company's approach

Cost of doing nothing or maintaining the status quo

Disengaged employees lead to a dysfunctional workforce.....and vice-versa. Numerous studies indicate that managers spend up to 40% of their time dealing with concerns within their team while employees spend up to 7% of their time in some form of conflict or misunderstanding in their team.

Even a small business with 50 employees and 5 managers may 'waste' approximately $200,000 annually on workplace relationship issues

The Business Case for an Employee Engagement programUse our People Problem Cost Calculator to estimate the cost of poor workplace relationships in your organization...but also remember the intangible costs of low morale, reduced productivity, etc...

Build Engagement at the local level by empowering your staff

The days of doing a company-wide, point-in-time, opinion survey are antiquated and coming to an end. This annual ritual is extremely burdensome on HR and management with the employees seeing little value in participating.

After all, doing a survey in January, getting results in March, agonizingly looking for a one-size-fits-all silver bullet and finally rolling something out many months later just doesn't make sense and employees feel they have very little actual impact.

Getting your staff to provide feedback relevant to themselves and the close knit community they interact with every day is a much more personal and quicker way to identify issues. By then empowering these individuals and teams to address their needs you see exponential increases in job satisfaction, morale and productivity.

Free HR and Management to do what they do best

As mentioned above, it is much better to empower individuals rather than burden Human Resources and departmental managers with the arduous task of data mining traditional surveys and trying to work out what will work for everyone. Indeed, most managers have a hard time deciding what to do with the data and/or new ideas they have just been handed.

Instead, they should be champions of the program encouraging the employees to be agents of change while being left to focus on the more critical elements of their day-to-day job.

Big picture numbers tell the tale

Recent research by leading organizations such as Gallup show some remarkable trends...

  • $400,000,000,000+
    • That is the annual cost to US Businesses due to decreased productivity attributable to disengaged employees
  • Industry leaders thoughts on Employee Engagement
    • >90% agree it directly impacts business success
    • <25% have a plan or strategy to address it
  • 3 out of 4 Employees attribute their voluntary resignation to their working relationship - usually with their boss
  • Sick-days and absenteeism
    • 2.69 # of days taken annually by Engaged Employees
    • 6.19 # of days taken annually by Disengaged Employees

 The bottom line is that you can dramatically improve your bottom line by simply improving relationships and engagement in the workplace.