Employee Engagement = Corporate Profitability

When HR executives ask me how they can get “buy in” from their C-Suite brethren for new initiatives related to employee engagement I tell them to speak one truth to power “profitability”. I have not met a senior executive yet whose head did not turn when promised greater profitability, and that is exactly what HR professionals should be promising they can deliver with properly-built employee engagement programs. There is a positive correlation between employee engagement levels and corporate profits and they can prove it.

This reality can be seen in the data that comes from the recently released Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) 2017 Trends Study (http://theirf.org/research/irf-2017-trends-study/1940/#1). This study provides insight into the shift in thinking over the past 20 years about how to induce engagement and to the tactics and best practices that lead to properly built programs. After catching the attention of the decision maker with a claim of increased profits, drop the IRF study, and the most recent results of Gallup’s Q12 Employee Engagement Study, http://www.gallup.com/services/190118/engaged-workplace.aspx?gclid=COnbgurqg9ICFYKKswod4xYH2Q on their desk and you’ll be off to a great start.

In economic terms, the multiplier effect refers to the proportional increase or decrease in final income that results from an injection or withdrawal of capital. In terms of Safety Reward Programs, the multiplier effect might refer to the ROI² (Return on Incentive Investment). A properly structured program significantly impacts overall employee engagement and safety culture, where employees are attuned to safety-related issues, inspired to display “Above & Beyond” safe behaviors, willing to be safety ambassadors, and encouraged to promote learning and support continuous improvement. Such best-in-class programs are designed to promote group objectives and reward individual behavior, engaging, motivating, and rewarding the people behind your success.
 

Fortunately, there are thousands of companies in high-risk industries that have excellent safety programming, training, and coaching in place. Many include safety in their list of core values and have invested heavily in EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) technology, training, telematics, and personnel. However, too many miss the opportunity to incentivize and recognize individual safety contributions, behaviors, and performance.
 

Programs featuring tangible and experiential awards as the reward currency can have a multiplying effect that pays dividends. Benefits include a more highly engaged workforce, fewer accidents and incidents, reduced claims and losses, lower turnover and absenteeism, better communication, increased productivity, visibility to leading and lagging indicators, incremental coaching and training opportunities, and improved profitability.
 

So, what’s the rub? Are engagement programs focused on employee safety, health, and wellness expensive to implement? Do they only make sense for companies with thousands of safety-sensitive workers? The answer to both questions is no. Properly structured programs can be cost-effective and right-sized for companies with as few as 100 safety-sensitive workers up to those with 10,000 or more. The ROI² of these programs can be expressed as a ratio (in this case, 4:1), with quantitative results showing a savings of $4.00 for every $1.00 invested and qualitative results revealing higher employee morale, which serves as a catalyst for productivity. Safety Reward Programs help to mitigate risk, elevate employee engagement, and improve overall safety culture. They also present an excellent opportunity for companies to simply say thank you to their employees for being safe, committed, and engaged.
 

People have an inherent need to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed. Safety Reward Programs provide the stimulus and energy that encourage employees to perform at their best and achieve new heights.

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