Employee engagement unlocks business growth

Across the UK and the rest of Europe, we’re facing hyper-competitive times with ever-increasing pressure to speed up, innovate and digitise

New business models and disruptive technologies continue as drivers of agility and business growth. Yet without engaged employees, these strategic gamechangers are all but useless. The difference between organisations that lead and those lagging can be found in their people. Increasing agility requires a culture of productivity and high performance, which can only be attained through high levels of employee engagement.

“Company culture is the crucial differentiator for organisations wanting to speed up and become more agile. Leading organisations are investing in employee engagement solutions to boost productivity and create high performing cultures,” says Arne Barends, co-founder and chief executive of Effectory, Europe’s largest provider of employee feedback solutions.

Effectory’s research shows that, across the UK and the rest of Europe, 52 per cent of employees are disengaged in their work. Yet our data shows that engagement increases customer centricity by 81 per cent, employee performance by 79 per cent and their alignment with organisational goals by 76 per cent. Clearly, employee engagement is an important key performance indicator (KPI) that requires attention at board level.

Give engagement airtime

Cultural transformation doesn’t take place in the boardroom; it happens at grassroots. It starts, however, with leaders who understand how it impacts growth and agility, and who ensure that substantial airtime is dedicated to engagement as a KPI.

In recent years, the engagement industry boomed because annual surveys provided leaders at all levels with insights into the topics and issues most pertinent to their organisation. The problem is that many business leaders think that an annual employee engagement survey is the answer to all engagement issues.

In reality, a generic once off survey won’t drive engagement. That’s where more relevant, frequent and tailored surveys enter the equation. Running these kinds of employee listening programmes, whether onboarding, pulse or exist, for example, creates dialogue between leadership and employees. It is exactly these kinds of interactions that will become the firm roots of an engagement culture.

Progressive companies know that their people have closer relationships with their clients, and most likely more awareness of the latest technological developments, than their top managers. They use surveys to tap into the collective brain of their employees for ideas on how to improve their organisation. This way, new ideas become instantly visible to the board rather than being lost amid endless hierarchical layers.

Drive behavioural change

Implementing these kinds of surveys at local, regional and global levels used to be highly instrumental and dependent on hard work from internal human resources staff or external consultancies. Now, however, the implementation process can be done at high speed. Both smart analytics and coaching of leaders and employees can be done entirely digitally.

Effectory’s experience across all industries, combined with extensive research, shows organisations need a flexible employee listening strategy that not only focuses on gathering and reporting data, but also on creating tangible impact.

“This means employee engagement implementations should be ‘self-inflating’ packages, rather than being dependant on complex setups that inundate HR and IT teams. Engagement tools must be able to create action-oriented and highly interactive personalised reports that provide guidance tailored to the needs of each employee. They should be able to drive behavioural change at individual, team and organisational levels - which collectively become the drivers of growth and innovation,” says Mr Barends.

Our research shows that as organisations grow, employee engagement becomes harder to attain, with a staggering 66 per cent of employees in large organisations being disengaged. The solution is incredibly easy: create a listening landscape that stimulates dialogue and drives real change where it is needed most.

Discover how your organisation can gain the competitive advantage through employee engagement at effectory.com