Be Elliot H. Clark
At the HRO Today Forum in May, many CHROs and top-level practitioners were disappointed to hear Dr. Peter Cappelli of the Wharton Center for Human Resources say during a town hall session that current research suggests that employee engagement scores don’t tell HR or executive leadership very much as a predictive tool for productivity. I have not reviewed that research personally, but I defended the employee engagement provider industry saying that engagement surveys are predictive of retention—no minor issue—and can help identify problems in line management. Conclusive “linkage research” between engagement and performance has been the holy grail of the OD profession for decades. But the employee engagement industry has a bigger problem to contend with than Dr. Cappelli questioning predictive value. That problem is: Their service is not very good.
HRO Today is publishing our first-ever Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings for Employee Engagement this month, and overall, the “engagement” of engagement customers is low. There are few companies on the list that outperform their cohort, but generally, the scores for customer service are the lowest of any other HR service offering.