Impact of Engagement on Business Results

On April 6, 2016, in HRExaminer, by John Sumser

photo of table from SMD report on HRExaminer.com article by John Sumser published April 6, 2016

“Across a large subset of our clients who have administered employee surveys in the past 18 months, engagement was a key driver of their business outcomes only 28% of the time.”

This chart is at the heart of a very short and effective report from SMD, a small people analytics company. The report, which is subtitled ‘A Comprehensive Examination of the Impact of Engagement on Business Results‘ set out to determine which employee attitudes and experiences, as measured on employee surveys, are connected to business metrics that matter to SMD’s clients.

The chart shows survey categories (the questions) down the left hand side. Business outcomes are the categories across the top. The check marks show which question areas are relevant to which business outcomes. A green check is a big deal. A blue one not so much and a blank demonstrates pure irrelevance.

“The results of the study speak for themselves. Across a large subset of our clients who have administered employee surveys in the past 18 months, engagement was a key driver of their business outcomes only 28% of the time. That means if these organizations had solely focused on improving engagement, they would have put forth time, effort, and resources to something that would not provide any bottom-line improvement 72% of the time. “

The most important finding in the study was that none of these measures correlated with business outcomes all of the time. Not only is engagement not a magic bullet, there is no magic bullet. What matters in your organization is case dependent. The notion that one or the other of the survey categories is the most important indicator of anything is where our industry is currently making a mistake.

 
  • Kolby Dayley

    Thanks for sharing this study. I think that is an interesting statistic. I would be interested to see the companies that were involved. Also I would also be interested to see what the outcome would be of actually increasing engagement rather than asking if it drove business outcomes. Do you know of any studies that have tested the direct correlation between engagement and business outcomes?

Page 1 of 11
Read previous post:
photo of person's legs dangling over edge of tall building. Photo by Alex Wong cc0 Pexels in HRExaminer.com article Should Candidates Pay by John Sumser on Elevated Careers
Should Candidates Pay?

Over the time that eHarmony invested in bringing its compatibility product (elevated careers) to market, they toyed with a range...

Close