HR leaders recognize the importance of employee engagement strategies and the emergence of technology solutions facilitating them. But these initiatives often stall, sputter out and eventually die when they reach the executive suite. Why? It’s been difficult to articulate the benefits of an employee engagement solution when leadership clings to common misconceptions about the problem and how it can be solved. Here are three of them and how they can be addressed:
You think HRIS can handle employee engagement.
Traditional HRIS accommodates training, payroll, compliance and recruiting, among other processes. These systems were designed to relieve administrative burden on HR. When it became clear that performance management automation was necessary, many HRIS providers merely bolted on a clunky and time-consuming solution — frustrating HR administrators, managers and employees alike. So while an HRIS might have performance-related functionalities, they are not best-in-class solutions that truly enhance performance and increase engagement. Bleeding edge solutions give employees control of everything from recognition to goal-setting to ongoing development. Companies that utilize outdated and ineffective technologies that don’t allow talent to continually adjust and improve their performance will fall by the wayside.
You think your company is too big for organization-wide change.
According to CEB analysis, “Change is just as hard – if not harder – for a company’s leaders… In fact, leaders are more likely to resist change — whether vocally or quietly — than other employees.” The same CEB report found that the average firm has undergone five organization-wide changes in the last three years. For many executives, the thought of implementing an employee engagement technology sounds daunting. However, research has shown that employees crave deeper engagement in their workplace through more frequent performance feedback. Coupled with their expectation that workplace technologies provide the same ease-of-use as consumer applications, a real-time approach to engagement and performance is an organization-wide change employees will more readily embrace.
You don’t think employee engagement affects business outcomes.
The term “employee engagement” means something different to every company so it’s been even more difficult to calculate its importance. One blogger referred to increasing employee engagement as building “emotional capital.” Research has shown that companies that have invested building this “emotional capital” through ongoing employee engagement have experienced:
- Better profitability: Companies with highly engaged workforce outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. (Gallup)
- Lower turnover: Employees who received strengths feedback had turnover rates that were 14.9% lower than for employees who received no feedback. (Gallup)
- More customer loyalty: Companies with an employee engagement program have 233% greater customer loyalty than those that do not. (Aberdeen)
Simply addressing these misconceptions likely isn’t enough to convince your C-suite to mark employee engagement initiatives as strategic a strategic priority. To help them take the next step, download our eBook, “Secure C-Suite Buy-In for an Employee Engagement Platform.”