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CONNECTIONS

An Edelman perspective on making meaningful employee connections that deepen engagement, build trust and accelerate business performance.

NOVEMBER 2013

THE BOTTOM LINE


SHOWING RETURN-ON-INVESTMENT FOR EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS
Smart employee communicators measure the effectiveness of their overall programs both in terms of activity and, more importantly, impact. But what if youre just starting out or need to convince senior leaders that a focus on employee communications and engagement can impact the bottom line? The good news is that several organizations have already published respected and accepted research on this very topic. Here are seven studies you may have missed but will want to know about: AON HEWITT: This 2013 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report finds that globally, employees work experience is generally improving (although four in 10 employees worldwide are not engaged and two in 10 are actively disengaged). Scores in the area of communication increased the most, while sense of accomplishment declined. The report also details the impact increased engagement has on sales: This analysis indicates that for each incremental percentage of employees who become engaged, sales growth of 0.6 percent results. Apply this logic to a $5 billion company with a gross margin of 55 percent and 15 percent operating margin, a 1 percent, 5 percent, and 10 percent engagement improvement would be worth $20 million, $102 million, and $204 million in operating income, respectively. TOWERS WATSON COMMUNICATIONS ROI STUDY: The 2011-2012 Change and Communication ROI Study Report finds that companies with highly effective communications are nearly five times as likely to have an integrated strategy for communication and change management. These firms are also eight times as likely to continue exhibiting new behaviors and skills after changes are made. Moreover, companies that are highly effective at both communication and change management are 2.5 times as likely to be high-performing than those who are not. CALIFORNIA MANAGEMENT REVIEW: This 2012 study examines the relationship between employees loyalty to their organization and the strength of the companys CSR programs. The study noted that increasingly, young employees aspire to contribute something more: Nearly seven in 10 are aware of their employers commitment to social/environmental causes, and 65 percent say that these activities make them feel loyal.

QUANTUM WORKPLACE: This 2013 employee engagement trends white paper uncovers differences in engagement by metropolitan area and industry. Engagement levels are highest in Charlotte, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas and Washington, D.C. Industries with the highest engagement are real estate, accommodation/hotels, food service and construction, while education, manufacturing and utilities have the lowest engagement. GALLUP: The 2013 State of the American Workplace report indicates employees are not adequately prepared to advocate for their companies. Only 41 percent of employees know what their company stands for and what differentiates their brands from those of competitors. The study also finds that only 22 percent of U.S. employees are engaged and thriving in their overall lives, a combination that makes employees more likely to maintain strong work performance even during difficult times. TEMKIN GROUP: This 2013 employee engagement benchmark study suggests better-performing companies have more engaged employees. Seventy-five percent of companies with strong financial results report high or moderate engagement levels, versus just 47 percent for under-performing companies. The study also posits that engaged employees work harder, with an impressive 96 percent of highly engaged employees saying they try their hardest at work, compared with only 71 percent of those who are disengaged. Additionally, Temkin found the highest level of engagement among employees aged 18-24 (60 percent) and 65 and above (67 percent). EDELMAN: The firms 2013 employee-focused Trust Barometer report examines the trust divide between business leaders and employees, driven by perceptions of fraud, misaligned incentives and negative workplace environments. Regular employees are far more skeptical than executives in general, and 15 percent less likely to trust the CEO than those in in top leadership positions. Moreover, regular employees trust each other less than executives do. Furthermore, treating employees well is a higher priority for rankand-file employees than for executives: Out of 16 attributes that build trust, executives ranked it fifth in importance, while employees put it third, close behind offering quality products and listening to customers. Despite these negatives, employees especially those with technical expertise are among a companys most trusted spokespeople on a variety of topics, more than CEOs and official company spokespeople. ABOUT US Edelmans Employee Engagement Practice helps organizations accelerate business performance, delivered by highly engaged and trusted employees. We do this by making meaningful, trust-building connections connecting employees with the company, connecting employees with each other, and connecting employees with the outside world. We have a global network of employee engagement specialists who can develop engagement strategy; deploy the tools and processes to deliver it; create the multimedia channels and content that support it; and design the insight mechanisms to measure it. For more information, visit us at ee.edelman.com, follow us on Twitter at @EdelmanEE or email us at employee.engagement@edelman.com.

For more information, please contact Edelman Employee Engagement at employee.engagement@edelman.com. For more information, please contact Edelman Engagement at EmployeeEngagement@edelman.com. Employee