No Budget Is No Excuse

The Evidence is Irrefutable – Employee Engagement and Cost Reductions are Inextricably Linked

Budget Constraints & Employee Engagement

Many U.S. local governments lament budget constraints when it comes to employee engagement.

If you see your budget as a barrier to employee engagement, you’re not alone. In fact, Employee Benefits polled employers on the subject, and 47% said the cost of engagement was an obstacle. The poll also found 44% of respondents named time and resources as a snag in employee engagement efforts while 31% of respondents referred to senior management as a hindrance.

But how much does it cost you to do nothing? What are the hidden costs of the status quo?

Whether you’re working with a district, township or county, metropolitan city, borough or village, employee engagement is an integral part of bottom line efficiencies, of higher levels of customer service. These two factors alone are enough to command taxpayers, elected officials, and top bureaucrats to sit up and pay attention.

Take your recruitment and turnover metrics for starters then apply your choice of employee recruitment costs, lost productivity and staff replacement. Some of these estimates are around $30,000 per person, others run anywhere from 50 to 300% of an individual’s salary.

If every year 10 people leave your organization of 300 employees at a cost of $30K per head, that’s an annual $300,000 expense. Studies, including TalentMap’s own research, show engagement can cut that number by as much as half; a savings of $150,000. Your budget request for an employee engagement initiative (including full-service, pre and post-survey support from TalentMap subject matter experts) doesn’t come anywhere near that number. Surveys are an inexpensive investment relative to the return. They can range from as low as $25 per employee to $250 plus.

Bottom Line ROI

Top Fortune 500 companies produce an average 6% margin. In other words, it takes $17 of revenue to send one dollar to the bottom line, while it only takes one dollar of cost reduction to send one dollar to the bottom line.

The inextricable link between employee engagement and cost reductions can’t be ignored.

Knowing how to set an appropriate budget and calculate the ROI from employee engagement is crucial to gaining senior leadership buy-in and financial support.  Where to start?

  • An engagement survey is an investment in employees, in customers, and in the internal and external reputation of your organization.
  • The money for an employee engagement survey may be found in the current fiscal year’s discretionary budget or you can plan now to include it in next year’s budget.
  • The reality is, if your organization loses one key employee over the next year, the lost productivity and replacement cost of that one employee, alone, is greater than the cost of the survey.
  • If you’re able to reduce operating expenses by even 1% because of improved employee productivity, innovation, reduced absenteeism and reduced employee turnover, the savings will be far greater than your investment in an employee engagement survey.
  1. Leverage TalentMap’s knowledge from the outset. Most executives don’t really understand the concept of employee engagement. They’re preoccupied with their own areas of focus. They don’t fully appreciate the commitment behind engagement and their role. Other matters take precedence. TalentMap’s senior consultants work with you to secure buy-in and support from the highest levels:
  • Addressing what’s in it for the organization
  • Justifying engagement in terms of the benefit to the organization
  • Presenting a business case that shows how employee engagement drives business outcomes
    • What are the costs involved in annual employee turnover?
    • What are the costs associated with absenteeism? Safety issues?
    • What if you could spend a fraction of those costs to attract top talent, engage and retain employees?
  1. Use the power of volume. Form an employee engagement purchasing consortium with other small local governments to negotiate better pricing and service options.

At first glance, it makes sense to ask how you can make an impact on employee engagement when you don’t have the resources of a Fortune 500 company? How can you make employee engagement a part of your workplace culture with budget constraints?

How can you afford not to?

If you can achieve a significant ROI on every dollar invested in employee engagement, don’t you want to know more? Let’s talk. Request a discovery call with a TalentMap specialist today.

author patricia bell newson

About Patricia Bell Newson

A graduate of Canada’s leading Journalism Degree program, Patricia Bell Newson is an accomplished writer and communications specialist. As a key member of the TalentMap team, Pat leads the company’s thought leadership with full force producing weekly content on employee engagement and best practices in employee surveys. Pat’s experience in advising leaders on strategic approaches to sensitive issues, priorities, and policies together with her ability to research and easily grasp various concepts regarding the workplace has been a great asset in creating valuable insights for HR leaders.

If Pat ever takes her mind off her next writing project, she’ll either be on her next adventure traveling the world, trying new food experiences, or taking a well-deserved break at her cottage.

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