Employee Engagement: The Key to Executive Buy-In

A man stands at a crossroads and must choose the problem or the solution path for better 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 obtain executive support and commitment, success is doubtful.

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.

Based upon over 500,000 employee engagement survey participants per year, we have consistently found that the question “The leaders of this organization are committed to making it a great place to work” has the highest correlation to overall employee engagement levels. In other words, you really need your leadership’s expressed commitment and follow through.

  1. Define the Problem with Hard 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

Use this data in addition to information you have found from a recent company-wide poll or what you have observed as a lack of employee motivation or increased turnover after a major change effort. Present the data and ask if they would work with you to find a solution. Chances are they will say “yes.”

  1. Search Out Possible Solutions
    Do your homework. Research different potential solutions. You will probably come up with a combination of options that could include a survey, a communications campaign, some training, adjustments to performance expectations and tweaks to current compensation incentives. Ask for leaders to help with setting criteria for the solutions you evaluate. As you review possible surveys, for example, does it matter more for the technology solution to be easily accessible or innovative? What, exactly, are the data that you need to guide next steps?
  2. Present Your Top Three Options
    Schedule a presentation to the leadership. Be well prepared with back-up data that show how you came to your final recommendation. Know answers to the questions they are likely to ask. Use only a few slides to present the “pros” and “cons” of each of the top three options. Then explain why you recommend one of them. For instance, your recommended solution may cost more but it will be company-specific. Anticipate justifying the additional cost with data on how the lower cost alternative will not deliver the data you need for your specific culture.

Once the path is chosen, the fun begins. Implementation is tricky. You need everyone on board…willing to be patient, understanding that change is difficult, and committed to the ultimate goal. But with leaders providing the resources and setting the example, you are on the path to success.

To learn more about employee engagement and retention, Download Our Employee Engagement and Retention Toolkit Now

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The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.

Jennifer Remling
Director of Global Recruiting

AKQA

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance

LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

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