Employee engagement and the bottom line (Nov. 10, 2010)

Chris JarvisFeaturing Chris Jarvis,
Senior Consultant at Realized Worth
Chris is an expert in the use of social media and the design and implementation of sustainability-inspired employee volunteer programs.  Chris has delivered results oriented presentations to over 50,000 people in Canada, the US, Australia and Africa. Chris is a memorable speaker with unlimited energy – those of us who were there won’t soon forget him.

 Why bother getting employees socially connected with their community or getting them involved in green efforts?  Over 50 people gathered on November 10, 2010 to answer this question and to share ideas of how to use and celebrate human capital within organizations.

Chris Jarvis speaking at the Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series

Speaker Chris Jarvis of Realized Worth shared the value in allowing employees to grow as people by sharing their unique passions and skills. He offered objective proof that confirmed our intuitive belief that happier, more engaged employees deliver real bottom line results. With real world examples (65 million in new revenue for Sears!), Chris made it clear that engaging employees and allowing them to pursue their passions pays big dividends.

Volunteering and engaging with the community transforms both employees and organizations. Employees emerge happier, healthier, more creative, more innovative and more responsive to customer/client wants and needs – innovative employees and quality customer service lead to increased business success. Chris shared examples such as the story of eBay where discussion about the need to embrace sustainability on a rudimentary level and eliminate styrofoam cups led to an array of thousands of money-saving solar panels.

Chris Jarvis at the Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series

The greatest results emerge when employee engagement is about more than simply positive PR or good feelings. As with any sustainability initiative, employee engagement must be tied to the corporate vision. Organizations must resist the urge to adopt simplistic initiatives or to commit the sin of “human capital theft” by claiming credit for hours of employee volunteering that people do on their own time, independent of any real employer support.

Fundamental to any successful sustainability initiative is not only a vision embedded into the corporate psyche but also a scorecard. To assess the value of your employee engagement initiative you must measure inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts. It is through outcomes and impacts that you see if you are truly maximizing the value of your human capital and achieving your corporate vision. Tree planting may be a perfect employee engagement initiative for a sawmill, but for a pharmaceutical firm, planting trees neither aligns with the corporate reality nor does it harness specialized employee skill sets – as Chris would say, “It’s good, but not good enough.”

Chris Jarvis and Brad Zarnett

Chris Jarvis and Brad Zarnett

When done correctly, an employee engagement initiative will reap positive personal and professional rewards. And with effective use of social media, your CSR commitment will be shared both within and far beyond your organization. Social media extends human relationships, and with a focus on strategic alignment and consistent messaging your employees will grow your initiatives and continue them into the future, ensuring greater corporate profitability.

Chris can help your organization move from good intentions to real results with effective use of social media and volunteering. He can be reached at chrisjarvis@realizedworth.com (www.realizedworth.com).

Editor: Brad Zarnett
Founder and Director,
Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series
Senior Sustainability Consultant, Watters Environmental

Contributing Writers: Julia Barnes and Adina Kaufman