Engagement Does/Does Not Matter

Yesterday, India-based HR consultant Gautam Ghosh posted a blog entry on a fascinating piece at CFO.com about HR, Finance, and Employee Engagement.

It appears that a noted HR professor gave a talk in Orlando to an audience of financial executives. Though it's dangerous to pick apart a talk that only appears in snippets in a magazine article, I wonder what to make of these two quotes:

- "But there is no evidence that engaging employees impacts financial returns."

- "You want people who are excited, enthused, and understand how to contribute to what you do, as opposed to those who simply want to find a good place to hide out."

Both are statements about engaged workforces. One says there is no evidence to support investing in one. The second says that having an engaged workforce is what you should want.

Huh? Which is it? Does engagement matter or doesn't it?

Maybe this is a case of "taking someone's words out of context," but my crap-detector is sensing a whiff of something else here.

Employee engagement initiatives are happening in organizations all over the world. For evidence of this, see the Employee Engagement Network on ning. And the second annual global conference on Employee Engagement, coming up in April in Barcelona, features such organizations as T-Mobile, Vodaphone, Virgin Atlantic, Nokia, Lloyds, and Fedex.

At the HR Summit in Singapore in 2008, Dr. Judy Bardwick shared this message:

"Organizations that simultaneously value their employees while never losing sight of their business goals have higher levels of growth, market value, return on assets, and returns to shareholders. The key factors are levels of employee and management commitment and engagement which are leading indicators of how well an organisation will do financially."

So if I were in the HR professor's shoes, and had the chance to talk to an audience of CFO's, I think I'd be very clear and go directly to the point:

Engagement matters.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, March 19, 2009

Comments

Engagement DOES matter! About everyone has probably worked in an environment that was at one extreme or the other, and it's so much better to be engaged! When employees feel valued and important, they're happy and engaged. Happy employees=happy cutomers=healthier bottom line.
Terrence Seamon said…
You said it, Hayli.

Terry

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