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Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Feb 25, 2019

nyc-ad-agencyEverything is changing in the world around you. It’s mind-boggling. Deflating. If you’ve ever felt as though your organization is suffering from poor employee engagement, you’re not alone. The fact is, poor employee engagement is among the number one challenges companies must deal with, especially in this fast-changing world.

Whether you’re experiencing low levels of employee engagement due to shifts in management, company vision, disruption due to technology, new product offerings, or simply due to the current organizational culture, your failure to address the situation is likely costing you significant financial losses.

It gets worse…

By continuing with disengaged members in your organization, you’re giving your competition an unfair advantage to take away what’s among your most valuable assets.

Your Team Members…

In order to stay ahead in today’s competitive environment, the importance of employee engagement cannot be overstated.

According to Doug Conant, who served as CEO of Campbells’s Soup,

“To win in the marketplace… you must first win in the workplace. I’m obsessed with keeping employee engagement front and center.”

During a ten year period that saw the S&P 500 stocks lose 10% of their value, Campbell’s Soup stock rose by 30% under Doug’s leadership.

Without making the priorities of your team, a priority of your organization, achieving the success you desire is highly unlikely.

At StrawberryFrog, we believe that Movement strategy and the cultural mobilization of your employees through Movement Inside can achieve behavioral change inside your organization and transform your company. It can help the C-Suite and HR leaders transform employee mindsets and actions. And it can move quickly, building momentum, motivation, creativity, and trust.

We started our company doing Movements Outside with the launch of the Smart Car: the movement to reinvent the urban environment. Very quickly we realized that our Movement Marketing approach was effective at institutionalizing new habits inside companies too. So we started an adjacent practice. We began designing Movement Inside programs and Movement Strategy for organizations wishing to ignite behavioral change and quality decision making among employees. What we learned is that changing employee mindsets, behaviors and actions requires a Movement Inside, not a top-down mandate…and certainly not your average boring email.

Under the Influence

When members of your team are engaged with your organization and the work that they do, their contributions are enormous. They are able to positively influence other team members, customers, job seekers, sales, ROI and ultimately the bottom line. In many instances creating a domino effect of benefits that can empower your organization to dominate your market.

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Talent Acquisition & Retention

“Engaged employees are 59% less likely to seek out a new job or career in the next 12 months.” – Gallup

The costs associated with acquisition, retention, and atrophy of talent can be astronomical. After factoring in separation costs (severance, unemployment benefits), recruitment costs (hr, on-boarding, training), and productivity costs (position vacancy & productivity acclamation), organizations that don’t invest wisely to engage team members, find themselves at a grave disadvantage.

Additionally, organizations must realize that not only is offering more money more expensive but as well, more money is not the answer.

“89% of employers believe that more money is the solution to acquire and keep team members happy vs the reality of only 12% of employees actually leave organizations to make more money.” – OfficeVibe

By focusing on Movement Inside which leads to purpose and powerful engagement, organizations can acquire talent for less, and keep talent longer, thus reducing the costly expenses of turnover AND without having to offer higher salaries to stay competitive.

“71% of employees would accept a pay cut, just to get a better job.” – Hayes.com. And even more, would be motivated to work for a company with a purpose that is greater than financial gain. This grows significantly higher among Gen Y and Gen Z.

Productivity

StrawberryFrog, through its Movement Inside approach, delivers talent acquisition and retention and also delivers financial gains via increased productivity that engaged team members contribute. Again we see from the stats below that pouring more money into “the machine” is not the answer.

“Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.” – Research Foundation
“Highly engaged companies show 37% lower absenteeism than companies in the bottom quartile of employee engagement.” – Gallup
“Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%.” – Dale Carnegie
“95 percent of highly engaged workers used their time wisely, with only 54 percent of disengaged employees doing the same.” – Limeade Institute
“96 percent of highly engaged employees were also highly motivated, compared to just 37 percent of employees who reported low levels of engagement.” – Limeade Institute

By engaging the members of your team, your organization enjoys higher levels of productivity – WITHOUT spending more money!

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Earned Media

Additional benefits of the StrawberryFrog Movement Inside approach to company transformation includes earned media. That which comes via recognition, often due to acts where an individual or business rises above the status quo. It is the word of mouth, sharing on social media and various other forms of attention that follow organically. Earned media can’t be bought but it’s among the most valuable forms of media an organization can receive.

“Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels.” – (MSLGroup)
“79% of firms surveyed reported more online visibility after the implementation of a formal employee advocacy program. 65% reported increased brand recognition.”– (Hinge Marketing)
“Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels.” (Social Media Today)
“Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads.” – (Marketing Advisory Network)
“Earned media drives 4x the brand lift as paid media.” – (Bazaar Voice)

Not only does earned media from engaged employees contribute to sales and conversions but to talent acquisition and retention as well.

“When asked which employee-shared content consumers found most relevant, recruiting rose to the top: 30% of consumers find job posting useful.” – EveryoneSocial
“Employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate – only 7% of applicants are via employees but this accounts for 40% of all new hire hires.” – (Jobvite)
“47% of referral hires have greater job satisfaction and stay longer at companies.” – (Jobvite)

Be it internal or external, the benefits engaged employees can provide via earned media is massive.

Sales, Revenue, Stocks & ROI

While engaged employees can contribute significant ROI due to the reach and impact of earned media, it doesn’t stop there. Once customers arrive to do business with you, we must recognize that engaged employees show more motivation to service and satisfy your customers, thus further contributing to conversions and customer loyalty – A.K.A. – “Repeat Business”.

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“Repeat customers spend 67% more on average than new customers.” – Bain
“Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.” – Bain & Company
“Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.”

And let’s not forget about the additional Earned Media from your happy customers that spread the word.

“Repeat customers refer 50 percent more people than one-time buyers.” – Bain & Company

With all of these benefits that include reduced talent acquisition costs, reduced talent retention costs, increased productivity, increased media exposure, more powerful media exposure, and increased conversions, organizations that prioritize employee engagement have a severe advantage to leave their competition in the dust.

Doug Conant from Campbell’s Soup wasn’t alone in his findings. Stock prices for Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for rose 14% per year – over a 7 year period, while companies not on the list only reported a 6% increase.

Get Happy

You can’t change a company through a top-down mandate, but you can with a movement. Movement Inside leads to happy employees, which in turn, is money in the bank.

While the financial benefits are obviously important contributors to help businesses thrive, perhaps at the root of all this un-evil lies the power of happiness.

According to a 10-year study done by Shawn Anchor, “Happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: including sales by 37% – not to mention a myriad of health and quality of life improvements as well.”

Additionally, “57% of highly engaged workers reported low-stress levels vs 17% of unengaged employees showing low-stress levels.” – Limeade Institute

The Secret’s In

Empowering your corporation or organization with Movement Marketing and highly engaged team members is among the most important goals an organization can strive for. Engaged employees in an organization contribute to increased productivity, brand awareness and reach, sales, revenue, and corporate value, all while reducing expenses and stress.

Movement Inside Works. Again and again.

In one example, we launched the onUp movement for SunTrust bank and created great momentum around the stand to stop financial stress in the United States. With an enemy such as financial insecurity, we were able to devise a program working with our marketing partners that has seen significant positive change among employees, and over 4 million participants in the movement at onUp.com

And in one of our most successful “Movements Inside” to date, we worked with Mahindra; who is among the largest organizations in the world, boasting operations in over 100 countries and having over 40,000 employees. Their presence exists in aerospace, agribusiness, aftermarket, automotive, components, construction equipment, defense, energy, farm equipment, finance and insurance, industrial equipment, information technology, leisure and hospitality, logistics, real estate, retail, and two-wheelers.

And even at massive scale, the results were exceptional. Mahindra has experienced year over year increases in employee engagement due to the Movement Inside that StrawberryFrog created.

Anand Mahindra sought to evolve Mahindra’s culture to be nimble, innovative, and customer-centered. He knew it required a journey to align and galvanize all employees. His leadership team began with a search for purpose together with StrawberryFrog. Over the course of several months, the Mahindra team led Ruzbeh Irani, worked with StrawberryFrog to learn about the needs of everyone, from factory workers to scientists, external partners, customers, and investors. Together they defined and distilled the purpose of the company, paring it down to three simple pillars that unpinned the Mahindra RISE movement: Use your ingenuity. Accept no limits. Drive positive change. The key strategy we used to align all the different interests and activate a solution which was good for all, was to focus on an idea on the rise in culture to buttress the RISE movement idea. And this is what everyone could get behind. The motivation was pride, not dictates from the top down. And instead of plastering this new slogan on motivational posters, the leadership team began by quietly using it to start guiding their own decisions.

The goal was to mobilize employees and leadership and to demonstrate this idea in action, not talk about it. StrawberryFrog designed Movement Marketing communications, management training, and role-playing sessions over several months across all companies. Projects were selected across channels to highlight the pillar of RISE and Mahindra teams were rewarded for their alignment with the movement. Then we went global involving their largest offices in key markets like the USA and Chile, Europe and South Africa. A comprehensive internal RISE team and platform was developed to help Mahindra employees be proactive with their customer requests and innovate around problems in an agile way.

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Change of Heart

Before you get all riled up and ready to make changes within your organization, it’s important to understand the fact that change, be it good or bad, is often met with resistance.

“70% of change management efforts fail.” (Hammer & Champy)

Whether it’s a lack of trust in the motivation or personnel behind the change, fear of personal failure to adapt, worry about becoming obsolete or losing one’s importance, or simply complacency in the way things are; the reasons resistance occurs will vary, but as sure as death and taxes, resistance will be a major obstacle.

Long gone are the days of a top-down mandate. Leaders must recognize and empathize with the unique perspectives, attitudes, motivations, habits, competing commitments and beliefs of their team members to engage them with their hearts and their minds.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

It takes courage and open-mindedness to create an organization comprised of engaged employees but the rewards to be realized are beyond compare.

Find out if a Movement Inside will work for your organization.

By StrawberryFrog

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