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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Employee Engagement Rocks, USA Today Story Affirms

We know it, and our clients know it. And most businesses suspect that it's true. But it's always nice to get a fresh endorsement from a disinterested party in the power of employee engagement.

That has come today in the form of a story in USA Today about the influence of truly engaged employees on important business metrics ranging from rising sales and strong brand equity to solid investment returns.

"Maybe people don't want to be married to their jobs," the sub-headline on the piece read, "but it seems to help if they're, to use a buzzword, 'engaged.'"

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

The article went on to testify about the advantages that "benevolent" and engaging employers enjoy in the marketplace, including those with renowned corporate cultures such as Google and Marriott as well as lesser-known enterprises.

USA Today notes that engaged employees not only feel better about where they work but that this translates into doing a better job, being more willing to put in extra hours when necessary and wanting to extend their careers with the company.

"The data strongly support the fact that organizations that focus on the engagement of their employees deliver stronger performance," Julie Gebauer, managing director for talent and rewards at Towers Watson, told the newspaper. "It's not just making them happy -- that's not a business issue. Engagement is."

That's why Gebauer said that effective employee treatment means more than a good dental plan. "What makes the biggest impact are things that don't have significant costs," she said. "How expensive is it for a senior leader to give an employee a pat on the back, or give someone the opportunity to work from home for a day or two?"

Exactly. And the more employers understand such truths about employee engagement, the better off they -- and the results that matter to all their constituencies -- are going to be.

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