Use Your People Data to Solve Engagement

Here’s a scary stat: the average cost of keeping a disengaged employee is 34 percent of his or her salary. So if you’re paying an employee $100,000 per year and they are disengaged, it is costing your organization an additional $34,000 per year. It’s clear that disengagement is a huge issue for a company’s bottom line, but what else does disengagement affect?

The panelists from our panel, “The ROI of Engaged Employees and the Cost of Disengaged Teams” at Illuminate all agreed that culture is what’s happening, but engagement is what people think is happening. During Silicon Valley’s boom, engagement was often conflated with perks. If you provide more perks, your employees will be more engaged. This no longer holds true.

Here’s what happens when you have disengaged employees:

Ultimately, engagement stems from a fundamental lack of trust. At companies with large percentages of disengaged employees, rumor mills run wild, and truthful sources of communication are nonexistent.

Often, this culture of distrust can be caused by a change in leadership, which is a common issue in high growth organizations. But how do we fix this? David Hanrahan, vice president of people at Niantic, thinks that “leadership needs to own engagement.”

Action planning on engagement surveys is incredibly difficult for organizations, but one way to promote actionable insights is to ask employees about their motivators. Why do they come to work? What makes them want to do better? Questions like these help provide people leaders with very specific, highly actionable data that can ultimately lead to higher engagement.

What to do about attrition

Intent-to-stay data is the most useful engagement question to predict attrition. If you ask people how long they plan on staying with your company, you’ll be surprised on the honesty you receive back. It’s that simple.

In tech, people perform their best after six months, and their lowest after years. Engagement survey data can help address engagement issues to solve for the loss in productivity in between these periods.