Evidence suggests that highly engaged employees are, as the Madison Performance Group would say, “brand ambassadors,” who contribute to selling the products and services of a company. Madison implies a causal link between employee engagement and market value, profit, and ROI. Their reasoning is that engaged employees speak positively about the products and services of their companies which increases sales. This thinking is represented in very concise form by the elegant infographic brought to my attention by a TLNT blog post and shown below.
I would introduce a couple of caveats to this picture. First, Madison’s business is “employee engagement and sales incentive marketing” so they have a self-serving interest in portraying a causal link between programs that increase engagement and bottom-line results. The other caveat is that although it makes sense, we should be very cautious in assuming a one-way causal link between happy employees and financial performance. It could be that high quality products and strong sales cause employee engagement, not the other way around. Or it could be that a third factor, such as reputation in the marketplace causes both high employee engagement (e.g., company attracts enthusiastic job applicants) and increased sales. Prius owners probably recycle more than non-Prius owners; that doesn’t mean that buying a Prius causes people to recycle, or that recycling causes people to buy a Prius.
In any case, the infographic is a useful tool for having a conversation in your organization about workplace culture. Anyway you draw it, studies support the notion that employee engagement is probably a significant contributing factor to company performance. My point is simply: don’t assume that if you energize workers you will energize sales, but also don’t assume that you can have a successful company over the long run without high levels of employee engagement.