Why Engagement Matters in Every Organization

Do you need help on establishing a business case for why engagement matters?

As much as I have talked about how recognition is not fluffy stuff, and have been trying to build a business case for recognition, it’s all based on a house of cards that crumbles if your organization doesn’t realize how important overall engagement is to your business’ success.

There is a great deal of research and trends data that illustrate the clear connection between engagement and key business drivers. Let’s start by examining a common cited source, the Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 Study out of the US. It narrows in on three key variables everyone from Human Resources to Finance to Customer Service cares about: productivity, growth and retention.

  1. Productivity

In organizations with low engagement, they had three billion dollars in lost productivity across the U.S. in one year.

  1. Retention growth

Over a three-year period, the organizations that had the highest engagement grew 2.3 times faster than organizations that didn’t.

  1. Retention

Engaged employees and leaders were 87% less likely to leave.

Need more evidence? The Conference Board of Canada did a longitudinal study with Canadians. Over a 10-year period, they found the exact same evidence.

Gallup, in their State of the American Workplace Study, similarly reported engaged workforces has lower absenteeism and turnover by almost 40%. Safety incidents lower by 50%. Productivity and profitability higher by almost 20%!

Now I ask you. If that makes sense to fuel engagement, why aren’t we doing it?

There are a few reasons I see in my clients and that we know from change theory (I will dive into that in a future post). But let me make the case for one in particular.

Our leaders are exhausted. “No more please!” I hear screamed through the halls (silently) as soon as I walk into any organization of any industry.

Think I’m being dramatic? In The New Rules for Engagement, 91% of leaders say they have too much to do they can’t take another thing on. Imagine if we had an engagement initiative, any initiative, how excited leaders would be at the idea of having another thing on their plate (I know that was sarcastic…my bad).  Little or no capacity is how 75% of leaders describe their current state. This is echoed by The Business Council of Canada report, claiming 50% of leaders say they don’t even have time for their own development.

So, what to do?

Engagement, whether it is a recognition strategy or some other form, actually takes less time and effort for the gains to be made. When we invest the time in making sure we are engaging employees, leveraging their ideas, getting them involved in continuous improvement, and leveraging their strengths, we’re capitalizing on assets already present while also boosting productivity, retention and growth. Meaningful work not only benefits the employee, it benefits the business.

By demonstrating recognition in this way, engagement gets a boost and ultimately provides our leaders with greater capacity to focus on strategic work and key business drivers elevate – it’s not a “sell” so much as a conversation about when. Ultimately, it will make your shareholders and parent companies happy with the gains that result. And if you run a small business, then your bottom-line and customer retention is healthier too.

If you need a summary of these key points, I’ve prepared a one-page snapshot of the evidence. Just visit my website and download it for free.

So, let me ask you, what is your next step?

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve