In this blog series, we’re talking about the need for HR leaders planning employee engagement and experience programmes to think in ROI terms: to be confident of their ability to go into the boardroom and show that their investment is paying off.
I want to demonstrate the sort of returns that can be achieved – but specific, defensible gains, not just the usual generics cited when talk turns to engagement. Add them up and clients should be looking at a minimum of a 5:1 return on investment: when we prepare our initial business case we can always evidence at least that ROI, and it’s often significantly higher. And whether you are building a platform for a more long-term strategic journey or feel you just need to get stuck into some of the pressing challenges, we can give you that fast start – and those early results which are so key to sustaining success.
At Engage we use pillars as both a consulting and technical framework. We’ve previously looked at benefits under the communications and accessibility pillars and now we’re moving onto enablement
Enablement is a collection of functions – from self-service options like making a holiday request or updating personal details to reengineering a manual process and automating it through forms and workflow. If it’s something that makes the working day go a little easier for colleagues, if it removes a pain point for those at the back end, if it delivers an efficiency and facility that is in everyone’s interest, then it sits in enablement.
Here are three examples drawn from our client base that are an excellent illustration of the breadth of potential – and the size of the gains.
A transport provider with 900 staff across 7 locations – The roll-out of the Engage solution was the catalyst for a radical overhaul of the HR and payroll function within this organisation. A move to digital payslips, self-service capability on personal, pension and tax details, a dedicated chat-driven enquiry service and integration with a custom rewards tool has allowed them to save on fulfillment costs, to streamline systems, to improve responsiveness to colleagues and to free up valuable back office time. In just over one year, the company estimates that its overall financial gain has topped six figures.
Major retailer with 4000 staff over 150 locations – After replacing its Intranet with Engage and enabling all content to be universally accessible, this retailer moved on to tackle legacy issues with its on-boarding and training activities. It could see the potential for serving up training materials and sales refreshers to be consumed in a more optimum way ie not always having to bring people in off the floor, or increasing the frequency or cadence of key learning, or starting new joiners’ familiarisation ahead of start date. With poor onboarding having been cited as a major contributory factor to its alarmingly high attrition rate, the company was committed to addressing it – unsurprising given its bloated recruitment cycle was estimated to be costing well in excess of £250,000 each year. Now 18 months in and the company is on track to hit its targeted 10% reduction in staff turnover.
Manufacturing company with 350 staff across three locations – While the original driver for Engage was around creating a direct comms channel and centralised assets, it subsequently piqued the interest of the CEO and COO. Working in a very niche market the company still relied on largely paper-based production systems, carefully developed over time but not on a scale that would merit ERP investment. There was an acceptance that this was inherently inefficient, and awkward and inconvenient to those on the production line; and also tricky for the C suite, in that there was a lack of instant visibility over progress and performance. We suggested that the functionality that lives in Engage could easily automate the manual processes, complete with a reporting overlay; this would save time, minimise error, increase control and provide a real-time view of operational output. Given that any ERP investment or custom development project would have come in close to six figures and six months minimum to get to a beta test stage, the three week project that came as part of the service was immediately signed off.
These three examples are the perfect illustration of the power of the enablement pillar. More than any other perhaps, we see it as the area that can bring the greatest change and the quickest gains, because so many organisations wrestle with that ‘oh, if we could just do that’ challenge. But many don’t have the IT resource that is willing or able to embrace tactical business process reengineering and application development in this way; with Engage, the building blocks are already there and we can move rapidly to deliver automation and system-enablement. And given what that can unlock, we’re often looking at an ROI that far exceeds the 5:1 norm – all from the one engagement platform investment.