In reading over the latest Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, it’s immediately apparent to me that the most profitable companies in the world are also the best companies to work for. But is this profitability a product of employee engagement?
It appears so, as these same profitable companies – according to findings in a recent Towers Watson Report – are more effective at employee engagement. In fact, they are 2.5 times as likely to outperform their peers on the balance sheet compared to companies that are not highly effective in this area.
Google employees can enjoy a range of perks such as subsidised massages, free on-site haircuts and dry cleaning and a giant German automaker is renowned for pioneering education and promoting-from-within, while Deloitte enables select employees to take a sabbatical from their position to work at a non-profit with full benefits and 40% of their pay.
These are ‘headline’ initiatives, but are among a host of factors that contribute to a highly engaged workforce, with arguably the most important being the positive contribution that effective internal communications has within an organization. For companies effective in this route to employee engagement, they are 1.7 times more likely to outperform ineffective peers according to the same Towers Watson study.
With these employee engagement facts in hand, it’s easy to see why the internal communications department is increasingly seen as a vital contributor to the company’s bottom line. But they need to be more than just an internal PR function that pushes communications from top down through the organization. Communication by its nature is two-way. Enabling the ‘voice’ of the employee has contributed to the success of the companies mentioned above – driving innovation, internal brand advocacy and lower than average employee attrition rates.
So, where to start for you?
The first step in improving employee engagement is to understand where it is now in relation to a known standard. These standards should be used as a yardstick to gauge success. Also needed is some way of measuring employee engagement in a meaningful and comparable way. Without measurement, and benchmarks, internal communicators are shooting at moving targets in the dark.
Then by implementing the right employee engagement communications tools, and collecting the right kind of data, a clear picture of employee engagement communication performance emerges. Identifying the areas where improvement is needed, and having the information at hand to make informed, strategic decisions will make communications to employees more effective, impactful and engaging.
Interested in reading how other organizations are Delivering Effective Internal Communications – and achieving employee engagement? Download a copy of our whitepaper here.