ROI Solution Center

Why Measure Investments in Engagement?

incentives | meetings | events | rewards | recognition | training | loyalty

Why_Measure1.jpgIn the not so distant past, the biggest, fastest, most efficient manufacturing line ensured organizational success. With the advent of the information age, improved access to higher education, and finally the internet, everything changed. Forever.


The Knowledge Economy – People are Critical Capital Investments

Welcome to the knowledge economy, where people have long eclipsed traditional capital investments such as buildings and machinery. In today’s business world, human capital drives organizational success. If you aren’t effectively harnessing the full power of your people, you can count on this, you are falling behind the competition.

Engagement, the New Global Currency

Research has shown a direct link between employee engagement and customer satisfaction and revenue growth.1 If you don’t effectively engage people, you risk decreased productivity, accidents, theft and turnover.2 The best ways to minimize these risks and experience the greatest boost in customer satisfaction and revenue growth is to invest effectively in strategies to improve engagement utilizing a disciplined planning and measurement approach to ensure success.

Thanks to the development and wide acceptance of employee engagement models, you can now measure how positive and proactive your people are in the workplace and measure engagement changes over time.

Many of the best and brightest organizations understand this. They actively measure engagement of employees, channel partners, and customers, and routinely invest in improving this metric. Some of the most effective strategies include offering incentives, rewards and recognition, training, meetings, events and loyalty programs. Typically, these are the most expensive investments. However, the irony is that few companies actually measure the results of these investments, let alone ROI!

Building the Business Case

Organizations frequently spend large sums of money on their people with little hard evidence to support the investment. Worse yet, there are relatively few if any metrics established to measure success. On one hand, it’s encouraging that leadership intuitively knows that these investments in people yield a handsome pay off. On the other hand, it seems negligent if larger investments don’t have performance objectives, metrics and measurement built right in. Virtually every major investment in hard capital is based on a cost/benefit analysis and accurate measurement following deployment. Investments in people demand the same disciplined, business-like approach. They need a solid business case.

“Management is doing a thing right; Leadership is doing the right things.”
Peter Drucker, social ecologist, management guru

Measurement Enables Leadership and Management

Leadership decides what strategy is required to achieve success. Management executes that strategy to deliver results. To fulfill their roles well, both benefit from access to information. Leadership gains evidence on where to invest and management gains insight to achieve higher levels of success. Both groups are better able to drive evidence-based continuous improvement. In addition, when armed with insight gained from measurement data, decision making is improved. Existing programs can be credibly defended and future investment can be confidently justified.

Why_Measure2.jpgEconomic Realities Demand Excellence

Economic downturns define a new normal where nearly every organization experiences pressure to do more with less. It’s that simple. Add to that increasing competitive forces and the never ending pace of change and you have a marketplace that demands the application of best practices and continuous improvement. Measurement points the way for both.

Fuel Continuous Improvement… That’s Evidence-Based!

Nobody argues the need for continuous improvement. Yet, many organizations struggle with the process and consequently, efforts can be ineffective. Why? Decision making is difficult when attitudes, personalities, opinions and other static enters the corner office. In contrast, data from measurement provides valuable insight, that when paired with intuition and gut instinct, clearly guides decisions, innovation and improvement.

The Feedback Loop – Measurement Alone Boosts Engagement

The very act of measurement enhances engagement. An effective and powerful feedback loop includes soliciting input, listening, reporting the findings and, finally, taking appropriate action. The resulting celebration of success and improvement to the business will serve as powerful ongoing reinforcers and motivators.

What You Don’t Know WILL Hurt You

Ever participated in an incentive, meeting or event and thought to yourself, “This is bad. If they only knew.…”? Ever been on the receiving end of a reward, recognition or loyalty program that thoroughly irritated you? If so, you know how a poorly designed or executed program can de-motivate you.

If you don’t measure your engagement programs, you may never know the shortcomings. It’s true, what you don’t know CAN hurt you. But measurement can identify barriers to performance and point the way to filling the gap. Taking positive and meaningful action can virtually ensure improved performance.

Why Measure Digital Events

Many digital event platforms offer extensive web analytics-style metrics. Typical measures include log ins, amount of streaming content, downloads of resources, chat activity and others. These are admittedly valuable activity measures but the case is frequently built that this activity correlates with positive business results. This assumption requires a large leap faith and an error in the assumption can lead to unnecessary risks in the marketplace. For example, a digital event may have been successful in distributing content to a large audience, but if the content was of poor quality, irrelevant, or did not lead to application in the workplace and business impact, the event should be considered a failure. A web-analytics measurement model would not reveal this nor would it point the way to an effective remedy.

  1. Economics of Engagement, Allan Schweyer, Human Capital Institute
  2. Harvard Business Review, 2009