I’ve written a lot about employee engagement on this blog — such as here and here — because it seems like a major topic of the next few years. Millennials will become the primary part of the workforce, and they want experiences instead of jobs — or so the narrative goes — and being able to do interesting, creative things that tether employees back to your org will be of increasing value.
The problem is this: there’s a collision of old school and new school. What I just described above is closer to new school. Old school says that jobs are jobs, organizations are organizations, and the point of business is to make money — employees? Pfft. They come and go. This is, psychologically, what happened to working, corporate ethos when “time with one organization” started coming down from 10 years to 3 years in the 1970s. It’s like when you get dumped by a girl. Pfft. She wasn’t that nice or attractive anyway. That’s how corporations started to view employees as employees stopped staying at places for a decade.
So a lot of times if you talk to an old-school manager about employee engagement, they think it’s a fad. (In some ways, they might be right. That’s not the point of this.) A big reason they’ll cite for the fad nature is “… it’s not tied to revenue.” Well, in fact it is tied to revenue — when people leave because they don’t like their job (i.e. aren’t engaged), that’s a hit to you in numerous ways — but let’s put that aside for a second.
How can you directly tie the idea of employee engagement back to revenue?
It’s hard, but Lowe’s — which actually has a fairly good track record around employee engagement — did just that. There’s a whole white paper-type thing around it, but consider this one simple part:
See? The difference between the highest and lowest engaged store — conservatively — was $1 million. That’s for a single store, across 365 or so days. That’s like $2,740 a day! That’s a lot of nails and wood.
Simple theorem here, then:
Focus on employee engagement models (the best ones for your org) =
Happier employees who want to work harder =
Upselling, going the extra mile =
More money for all on the back end.
A bit simplistic, but not completely off-base.
Embrace the idea, friends. It’s the challenge of our time.