Is this the year of employee engagement?

It’s a tough cookie to crack, employee engagement. Yet it’s an often talked about topic of organisational professionals and in my experience, sometimes regarded as the role of HR professionals to improve, when it should be a shared management responsibility.

Corporate sustainability initiatives rely upon employees being engaged enough to first, listen and second, change from a status quo. Quite simply, their success depends on it. Perhaps that’s why in a recent sustainability executive survey of leading North American and European companies, funding employee engagement initiatives was number one, on the list of top 10 priorities for 2012.

The Gallup organisation reports that engaged organisations have 3.9 times the earnings per share growth rate compared with similar organisations in the same industry. Wow, that’s some statistic! Clearly, engaged employees are linked with organisational success. In addition, there is a study that reports strong employee engagement is correlated with employee perception that their organisation is pursuing a socially and environmentally sustainable path (see Bob Willard’s blog for a summary on this study).  

Like many things in the corporate sustainability field, investments that are good for improving the sustainability of an organisation, are also good for improving business profitability. Perhaps 2012 is the year to focus on the soft stuff; improving employee engagement. To whet your appetite, here is a list of key points from the Guardian on employee engagement.

Happy New Year!

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