Organizational Health
(5 Minute Read)

What is the True Cost of Engagement to Your Company

Many business owners seem to operate by the old adage “if it isn't broke, don’t fix it”. Many mid cap companies have put in the time and effort to create a business model that has brought them success. From electricians who have grown a business from a single crew to an entire fleet, or a contractor who has gone from working alone to managing projects all across the state, oftentimes the organizations we interact with have created very real success with their business model. For many of these companies the journey from zero to hero was made without any kind of focus on culture instead prioritizing growing revenue, expanding the team and getting more work. Consequently, when we start talking about culture, leadership, engagement, or anything else that might be seen as a “squishy” or soft  topic the pushback comes as leaders are thinking about how everything they choose to do comes back to the bottom line.  

For companies that are growing and optimizing, prioritizing culture seems like a waste of time as they try to improve “real” problems like hiring new people or improving their profit margins. What many fail to realize is that the root cause of these issues are tied to cultural dimensions. Cold hard numbers are important—here are a few we think more business leaders  should be aware of.  

20%—the productivity increase you can expect from a highly engaged team based on Gallup’s 2020 study of over 100,000 teams and over 2.7 million employees [1]

41%—the decrease in absenteeism when you manage to create an engaged workforce within your organization.  

40%—average decrease in turnover in highly engaged organizations. (up to 59% improvement in low-turnover companies down to 24% in high-turnover companies)

Sometimes when we read statistics, it is hard to get a feel for what they mean. After all, the numbers we are looking for are the real impact to the bottom line. If a business leader chooses to stick with the status quo and keep things moving as they always have, will it have a negative impact? What will ignoring culture and engagement really cost an organization? On the flipside, what can you gain from investing in culture and creating an environment that engages and aligns your team?  

Use the calculator at the bottom of the post to figure our the true costs and benefits of engagement for your company. Here's how it works:

Step 1: Enter some information about your company.  

Simply add your approximate company size, average employee salary, annual revenue, and the approximate level of turnover within your organization on page one of the tool.  

Step 2: Analyze your costs!

The tool will spit out 3 numbers on page 2 based on your inputs. First, how much you lose to missed work per employee in your organization. Second, it will sum the total cost of absenteeism for your organization. Finally, it will use estimates from studies by the Society of Human Resource Managers to give you the annual cost of turnover in your organization. [2][3]

Step 3: Room for Improvement.

The final page of the tool will give you some basic insight into what you are missing out on if you don’t prioritize your culture, and your people. It will estimate the revenue gains you can expect from an engaged workforce, and the savings from employees who show up more consistently, and leave your organization less frequently.  

Skip to the calculator now and check it out! We hope these numbers are enlightening. They certainly were for us. But maybe some new questions are rolling through your mind. What is engagement? How can I tell if my team is engaged or not? How can I create a healthy culture?

Engagement

Defining engagement is an important first step as it is all too often misrepresented as some form of employee happiness. Engagement does involve how content your employees are with their job but engagement actually primarily describes the way your employees act (not how they feel).

Engagement can be simply described as how willing your team members are to go above and beyond. Identifying highly engaged employees is as simple as finding the ones who:  

  • Show up early, leave late
  • Take on additional responsibility voluntarily
  • Take interest in the people around them
  • Actively recruit other strong colleagues
  • Constantly look for ways to improve performance

These people are hard to miss. They are the employees doing work the way leaders wish everyone would. But how can you drive engagement?

Driving Beliefs and Feelings

This is where the contentment with work actually comes into play. The truth about engagement is that it is driven by the beliefs of employees and the feelings those beliefs create. Engaged Employees believe:  

  • My company values and respects me
  • I contribute value to the organization
  • I am making an impact on the world around me  
  • I have a sense of pride in what we are doing
  • I am accepted and loved for who I am in this organization
  • I am safe in this organization
  • My basic needs are met in this organization
  • I matter to this Organization

If you can create an environment that drives these beliefs in your employees, their beliefs will in turn help them to feel more loyal, more motivated, more passionate, and more enthusiastic about your company and their place in it.  

Reality check incoming. Building a healthy culture will take time and effort. We have identified 12 dimensions of a healthy culture, and chances are most companies will have serious work to do in several of them. But we hope this tool, and the numbers that it spits out for your organization, give you a couple of cold, hard, bottom-line reasons to start investing in a culture that drives engagement in 2022. (If you need 30 more check out this article!)

If you have questions about this tool, driving culture and engagement, or anything else, we would love to get to know you and your organization. Just click here to get in touch!