I’ve been in and around employer branding and employee engagement for longer than I care to remember, but it still amazes me why too many organisations will only spend a fraction of their marketing budget on ‘their greatest asset’ i.e. their people (so the annual report says). And in the last few months nowhere has that been more evident, than in discussing effective employee engagement.
The ROI on employee engagement is proven – a 22% difference in productivity according to the University of Warwick (and that was before COVID) and we can share many compelling examples from DNA clients – yet too many CEOs seemingly don’t want to hear how their employees are feeling, how well connected they are to the purpose or where they could provide really valuable input and ideas. The complacency (or lack of cojones perhaps) in some places is staggering, particularly as employee expectations of their leaders has grown since COVID and more and more they want a voice in shaping the future. And if their current employer doesn’t give them that then they’ll move to one who does. This is something we are already seeing as attrition rates across the market are increasing month on month.
Employers who ‘had a good COVID’ are perfectly poised to prosper and build on the belonging, connection and empathy created. The good news is that it’s not too late for those that didn’t. A statement of intent, some honesty and humility, a well-crafted survey with the right questions and the right follow up could turn you from zero to hero before the end of 2021. But you need to move quickly if you’re expecting your people to succeed and stay or that upturn you’re hoping for will simply evaporate – maybe fall into the laps of your competitors (who are almost certainly already working hard on their employee engagement).
By John Tarrant