What impact does employee engagement have on business results? Employee engagement has become quite popular among those people concerned about the culture of work in organizations. Many HR and organization behavior professionals have been jumping on the engagement bandwagon. But unless we can define and measure engagement, it will continue to be a hard sell to management, especially in these recessionary times of deep cutbacks in people and resources.

Defining engagement as an employee’s level of motivation and potential for discretionary effort, Keith Wiedenkeller, SVP, Human Resources, AMC Entertainment, Inc. wrote in Film Journal International’s blog:

In a recent survey process at AMC, we found that our theatres with most improved employee engagement scores tended to have most improved business metrics as well, including better concession performance, better cost control, and better customer service metrics than those at less-engaged units. The correlation was so significant as to overshadow any impact from outside factors.

I have written before about the impact of employee engagement at Best Buy. Now we have some evidence of business results in AMC, a movie theater company. Where else, in this very challenging economic environment, is employee engagement making a difference on the bottom-line?