Getting Executive Buy-in for Employee Engagement

Executive Buy-In for Employee Engagement A man stands at a crossroads and must choose the problem or the solution path for better employee engagement

Do You Need to Get Executive Buy-In for Employee Engagement?
Are you looking to boost employee engagement at your company? After more than two decades of working with clients to improve their working environments so employees are fully engaged, we know one thing for sure—unless you get executive buy-in for employee engagement, success is doubtful.

The Three Big Steps to Get Executive Buy-In for Employee Engagement
The very first step to take is to define the problem in a way that will make executives sit up and take notice. Only when the problem of lagging employee engagement is articulated in a way that leaders care about will they spend the time and energy to help craft a solution. And only when executives are fully engaged in the process will you achieve your goal. First the problem…then the solution.

1.  Define the Problem with Hard and Relevant Data
Executives need to understand that low employee engagement is not just a “soft” problem. The costs of disengaged employees and unwanted attrition are well understood. According to four recent studies, the impact of lower employee engagement scores is pretty startling:

  • 12% lower profits
  • 19% lower operating income
  • 28% lower earnings per share

While higher employee engagement scores correlate to:

  • 18% greater productivity
  • 12% higher customer satisfaction
  • 51% less voluntary turnover

Be crystal clear about the problem you are trying to solve and the value of solving it compared to other strategic priorities.  Use hard data from employee engagement research and incorporate attrition data, exit interview data and employee feedback to make your case.

2.  Agree Upon Answers to the Following Questions Before You Start

  • Are Your Leaders Committed to Making It a Great Place to Work?
    Based upon over 500,000 employee engagement survey participants per year, this question has the highest correlation to overall employee engagement levels. In other words, before you embark on an engagement initiative, ensure you have leadership’s expressed commitment and follow through.
  • Is Senior Leadership Committed to Responding To The Results of This Survey?
    After your teams have openly discussed the findings and what they mean for them, it is time for the team come to agreement on the 2-3 key engagement areas that deserve the most attention.  Can your leaders commit to making it happen in conjunction with other business priorities?
  • Do Your Managers Have the Capability and Willingness To Share Engagement Survey Results?
    Leaders and managers must be able to effectively share and discuss survey results with their teams so that employees feel heard and have faith in next steps to make their company a great place to work.

3.  Present Your Plan
Schedule a presentation to leadership. Be well prepared with back-up data that shows how you came to your final recommendation.

  • Be prepared with succint answers to the questions they are likely to ask
  • Use only a few slides to present how your approach fits into the overall business and people strategies
  • Then get agreement on next steps

The Bottom Line
Once you have executive buy-in for employee engagement, the fun begins. Make sure you and your leadership team is set up to succeed before you start with hard data and a plan for success.

To access the latest  engagement and retention thinking to improve your chances to obtain executive buy-in for employee engagement, Download Our Employee Engagement and Retention Toolkit Now

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