What do BAE Systems, Toyota and Babcock Marine have in common? Well, apart from being in broadly related sectors, all three are noted for having high employee engagement.
They're not alone in seeking to increase their business success through engaging their employees. This is one of the most common challenges that Chief Executives in the engineering sector ask for our help in tackling.
Specifically relevant to this blog is a particular challenge that these Chief Executives bring to us – how to convince the senior leaders who report directly to them that they must get actively involved too.
This is a big headache for many. If the senior leaders aren't on board, the Chief Executive's job in leading greater focus on engagement becomes far harder.
Is this a headache that you're dealing with right now? If so, read on. In this blog I’m going to share with you three critical pieces of evidence that will strengthen your case.
1. It will help you retain existing talent
The skills shortage across all areas of engineering is well-documented.
In their 2015 Annual Global CEO Survey, PWC report that engineering and construction CEOs are taking steps to address this talent shortfall:
"72% have widened their search to different countries, industries or demographic segments. Similarly 61% have implemented a strategy for promoting talent diversity."
Another focal point for the Chief Executives I talk to in engineering sectors is how to engage their existing workforce. They know they need to do this because it will make it far easier to attract and retain this hard-to-find talent.
This is a wise move. In organisations with high employee engagement, staff turnover is typically 70% lower than in those with average or low engagement (according to research by Kronos).
2. It increases safe working practices
The second reason is that employee engagement leads to a safer working environment.
I don’t know any engineering organisation that doesn’t treat safety as a priority.
And I'd wager that your organisation is no different.
Reasearch indicates that organisations with high employee engagement also have a 78% higher record on safety. According to research by the SHRM Foundation:
"At beverage giant Molson Coors, engaged employees were five times less likely than nonengaged employees to have a safety incident and seven times less likely to have a lost-time safety incident."
And the knock-on benefit? By focussing on employee engagement the company saved $1.7 million in a year in safety costs.
3. It will differentiate you from the competition
Engineering organisations are becoming more and more alike.
We all like to think we're 'a bit different', but the reality is that whether it's the way you manufacture, how you monitor quality or the way you maintain production standards, your organisation is probably more like your competitors than it was five years ago.
So, if you could differentiate your organisation from others, what differences would you want there to be?
How about levels of productivity that are 70% higher than in companies where the workforce is not engaged?
Or how about 44% higher profitability? A recent Kronos study found that these kinds of results are being achieved by organisations with high levels of employee engagement.
Differentiation through employee engagement is not only desirable in engineering organisations – it's a commercial imperative.
If you need to convince your senior team that employee engagement matters to your organisation, these are three reasons I'd recommend you highlight:
- It will help you retain existing talent
- It increases safe working practices
- It will differentiate you from the competition