Why “somewhere over the rainbow” just isn’t good enough when the answer to employee engagement clearly waits back at home!

 Kevin Thomson bemoans the culture of surveying the engagement out of employees and strongly suggests helping them become true brand champions with some home spun magic.

We’ve mentioned this before, but the flurry of surveys on employee engagement goes unchecked. They’re usually backed up by a conference or event at which a wider audience is asked to pay for the “reveal”. A sample from a recent survey:

 Does your organisation fully understand the direct connection between employee engagement and business performance?

Please choose your answer:

Yes, employee engagement is all our CEO talks about.


We’re definitely getting there and internal comms is heavily involved in developing a strategy to link the two.


Somewhat but senior leadership is working with HR on this rather than with internal comms.


No, there’s a long way to go before anyone truly understands this link.



Are repeated questions like this really necessary when we already have hard data from, amongst others, Gallup:

 Actively disengaged employees erode an organization’s bottom line, while breaking the spirits of colleagues in the process. Within the U.S. workforce, Gallup estimates this cost to the bottom line to be more than $300 billion in lost productivity alone. In stark contrast, world-class organizations…. have an engagement ratio of more than 9:1 (versus 2:1 average) Gallup Employee Engagement Report  What’s your ratio?

 Critics like Scarlett International, however, say that only 3/10 CEO’s are actively engaged in doing anything about engagement? So why bother to ask?

 The fact is that employee engagement begins at home. It’s reflected in the way employees talk about the brand in the social space, in the way recruiters pitch your vacancies, in the public face presented by your website and your customer satisfaction ratings not in generalised feedback from research houses in “neverland”.

 If your organisation recognises the brand jeapordy that a gradual breakdown in relations between employee and brand implies, rather than stirring up the employee hornet’s nest with provocative questions that simply describe but don’t address the core problem, isn’t it worth asking a simple question that flips engagement on its head and implies that someone, somewhere, intends to take ownership of the issue?

 Q: How engaging are we as an organisation?

 The engaging brands take ownership of all stakeholders. They actively engage their employees, their customers, their communities and their corporate relationships. They don’t wait for the prodding of third parties. They factor employee engagement into their key matrices and work hard at identifying the engagement levers. We know because we’ve partnered with many of them since first recognising the causal link between engagement and performance. We’ve been honoured to feature many of them in what have become some of the foundation texts in the communications, organisation and brand development space. And we’re heartened to see how they have “kept the faith” and addressed the inevitable business challenges that stemmed from the finance and culture based global economic downturn.

 We’ll be publishing details of best practices from those self-same engaging organisations. So watch this space and please do join the conversation with wisdom which is based on workaday facts more than fantasy, which is hearty, healing and very much home spun…..



1 thought on “Why “somewhere over the rainbow” just isn’t good enough when the answer to employee engagement clearly waits back at home!

  1. Pingback: Press Release November, 2011: The Launch of Brand Engaged « Brand Engaged

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