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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Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

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LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
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Samsung

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

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

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 recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

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

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

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