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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LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

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SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

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

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

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President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

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Samsung

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

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HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

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.

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Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

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VP of Human Resources

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Director, Human Resources

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Greg Pappas
VP of Human Resources

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