“Any investment that can help me retain the services of my experienced call centre agents for an additional 6 months will be worth considering.”
These words were recently expressed by an executive in a financial management company. We were discussing the difference between evaluation of the return on investment (ROI) and value of investment (VOI) of corporate wellbeing programs.
From a simple return on investment (ROI) perspective investing in an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is evaluated against the benefits of the services provided. The key criterion will then likely be the measurability of the effects of the service provided, such as reduced medical claims, reduced absenteeism and sick-leave etc. But from the value of investment (VOI) perspective additional criteria come into play. These criteria will relate to the quality of the EAP provided, and especially the ability to drive employee engagement with the program. Key questions to consider would include:
• How does the program improve employee wellbeing to contribute to improved workplace engagement?
• How does the program improve employee resilience in these challenging economic times?
• How does the program ultimately contribute to improved productivity and creativity?
A cynical EAP provider perspective would be that the less the service is used by the members the more profitable it is likely to be. But a responsible and proactive service provider would seek to measure and demonstrate how the key questions above are addressed. But there’s a further’ and equally important consideration – and that is to what extent the employee wellness program can contribute to talent retention. And the good news is that research tends to corroborate this consideration. See an example here.
In the current challenged South African economic environment the key organisational enablers, those critical folks who make the business hum, need to be well-cared for, and above all retained. This sentiment was expressed by the executive above when thinking about experienced call centre agents. The well-known Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This perspective has been correlated to the few critical enablers of organisational success. This observation in no ways detracts from the important service provided by the rest of the employees, notwithstanding the issue of active disengagement identified in the August/September edition of NEWS2USE – click here to read further.
What it does suggest is that investing an effective organisational wellbeing program that drives engagement to improve resilience and engagement remains a no-brainer at this time.
How can your organisation strategically address employee wellbeing – bearing in mind the need for key talent retention?
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