You can see it. You know that employee engagement is highly correlated to profitability and retention in any company, and you want it in yours. You understand the value of giving employees a voice, listening actively, and improving the work experience. You want to move forward and start implementing these concepts.
Except there’s one problem–you first need to convince the entire leadership team. The Head of HR. The CEO. This in itself seems like a daunting task. When you add everyone’s crunching timelines and consistent daily duties, how can you propose employee engagement so that management sees it as a possibility and a priority?
In short, now that you’re devoted to the cause, how do you inspire your superiors to share in your passion of strengthening employee engagement at your company?
We’ve written an entire guide on the art of activating employee voice, but one section in particular is especially relevant to this topic. Here are four solid and tested methods to help you sell employee engagement to your company.
1. Establish an employee first philosophy.
Sometimes blunt is best. Have a conversation directly with leadership to talk to them about the importance of employee voice. Express that while shareholder value and customer satisfaction are outputs, the only thing the company really has direct control over is inputs. These inputs are your employees, the ones who design the products, the services, who interact with your customers and act as brand evangelists. Employees must be prioritized first, because they are the lifeblood and the future of the company.
A helpful image to share is the ‘Service Profit Chain’, which expresses this concept:
2. Asses what the company spends on customer technology versus employee technology.
This point takes the first one a step further. Once you put real numbers into the equation, it becomes much easier to see, measure, and asses. How much money are you spending on customer value versus employee value? Keep in mind that happy employees stay longer and do greater work, and retention is a valid concern. Some helpful stats include:
- 16% of annual salary for high-turnover, low-paying jobs (earning under $30,000 a year). For example, the cost to replace a $10/hour retail employee would be $3,328.
- 20% of annual salary for midrange positions (earning $30,000 to $50,000 a year). For example, the cost to replace a $40k manager would be $8,000.
- Up to 213% of annual salary for highly educated executive positions. For example, the cost to replace a $100k CEO is $213,000.
3. HR also needs data to make decisions.
Leadership is always asking you to use data to make better decisions. Now is the time to show them how taking a more frequent pulse on employee voice will offer that data and insight, and not just once a year. You look at financials and attend to customers more than once a year, so why not give the same attention to your most valuable asset? When you’re able to measure and track correlations between engaged employees and higher profitability and success, you’ll also have information that will support predictions and business results, something of high value to leadership.
4. This isn’t just an HR strategy, it’s a People Strategy.
Never forget that HR is about all people–not just HR people. HR shouldn’t be isolated on its own or separated from the rest. What you need is a People Strategy that aligns with your company strategy. Supporting a strong employee voice system enables employees to thrive in the company and live out the vision, as shown in the diagram below:
The full guide includes excellent information about:
- The evolution of Employee Voice
- FIVE ways to improve your Employee Voice mindset and approach
- Who cares? Why does Employee Voice even matter?
- Good luck selling this concept into my company
- You’re preaching to the converted. I’m sold! Where do I start?
Check out a free copy of the entire Ultimate Guide to Activating Employee Voice!
We wrote it just for you 🙂