Employee engagement is not a mere buzzword anymore and has gained attention of CEOs and top executives in companies. In an ever-disruptive economy business leaders know that having a high-performing workforce is essential for growth and survival. They recognize that a highly engaged workforce can increase innovation, productivity, and bottom-line performance while reducing costs related to hiring and retention in highly competitive talent markets.
Among the findings of a new Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report of more than 550 executives around employee engagement, it was found that while 71% of respondents rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organizational success, only 24% of respondents say employees in their organization are highly engaged.
In a separate study by Gallup’s on the State of the Global Workplace, it has been observed that only 30% of employees worldwide are engaged at work – employees who are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations.
But while most executives see a clear need to improve employee engagement, many have yet to develop tangible ways to measure and tackle this goal. However, a growing group of best-in-class companies says they are gaining competitive advantage through establishing metrics and practices to effectively quantify and improve the impact of their engagement initiatives on overall business performance.
Without effective Employee Engagement practices, a company is bound to lose it valuable employees to competition. As per industry estimates, it has been found that the cost of replacement can be as high as 400% of the cost to company (CTC) of a full-time employee (FTE). With such high costs of replacement in a highly disruptive economy, it can have serious repercussions for a company.
One of the proven ways of high-impact Employee Engagement is Mentoring and Coaching of employees. Mentoring and Coaching have a strong bearing on morale, productivity, leadership development and internal career growth. They can also be used for succession and planning and diversity initiatives.
Mentoring (and Coaching) is not only beneficial for the recipients but also for the people who are Mentors. Sun Microsystems (now a part of Oracle) ran a highly successful Mentoring program for over 13 years and saw higher retention and promotion rates amongst its Mentees as well as Mentors.
With the emergence of SaaS-based solutions, companies can now implement and run Mentoring and Coaching programs seamlessly across geographies. Right from correct Mentee-Mentor matching on strengths to real-time feedback and visual data analytics, such platforms provide insights into Employee Engagement initiatives of the company and assure a high ROI. Over a period of time, such data gets accrued and flow into useful Predictive Analytics for design of appropriate learning interventions, estimating employees-at-risk of attrition and crafting specific retention strategies.
These employee engagement platforms can also be used for Strategic On-boarding of New Hires to map them to senior leaders as buddies, ensuring they get into the “groove” early on in the company.
With rapid adoption of technology by HR teams, an increasing number of companies are using such employee engagement as a part of their people management strategy. It’s time when any company which realizes people are its true competitive advantage will start investing its dollars in employee engagement platforms.
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Written by: Soumen Chatterjee, Founder & CEO of NxtSpark.