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The Ripple Effect of Employee Engagement for Professional Service Organizations

Friday October 15th, 2021

Estimated time to read: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Consultants, advisors and accountants are skilled at focusing on their clients. After all, client satisfaction is the foundation of success for professional service organizations. Not only are happy clients likely to continue seeking services, but they may also share their experience with others – and that can go a long way in helping professional service organizations recruit new customers.

Since clients are more likely to be satisfied when the people they are working with are passionate about the services they are providing, it is important for human resources (HR) teams to ensure their workforce is engaged. In fact, employee engagement was rated as one of the top HR opportunities for business and professional service organizations in isolved’s Transforming Employee Experience whitepaper. Client satisfaction, however, isn’t the only reason why HR teams think employee engagement is an area of opportunity. This is because engaged employees can positively impact other important areas within an organization – including overall employee experience (EX), as well as recruitment, retention and revenue. 

Better EX

EX is defined as the sum of all interactions that an employee has at work, and it is a priority for 90 percent of business and professional service organizations this year according to data from the aforementioned report. In many cases engagement qualifies as interaction. For example, an employee who is interacting on an internal social network is engaging with their colleagues, while an employee who is interacting with a learning management system (LMS) is engaged with their own professional development. As such, engagement oftentimes correlates with better EX. But what are the best ways to improve engagement? 

isolved’s Voice of the Workforce whitepaper surveyed full-time employees within the business and professional service organization industry and found that the top ways employees want to be engaged is with 1) team meetings; 2) in-person events; 3) all-hands calls; 4) learning opportunities; and 5) ability to monitor and manage their own performance. This suggests that HR teams should be making communication a priority for all teams within their organization, as well as be supporting the continued development of their workforce through learning and performance management.

A Tool for Recruitment

It’s no secret that recruiting can be challenging – and 46 percent of HR leaders working in business and professional service organizations say that recruiting has become more difficult over the last year. But how can an engaged workforce help with recruitment efforts? Simple: employee reviews. According to isolved’s data, 29 percent of HR leaders within the professional service industry say their top recruiting tool is employee review sites. This tool is the most helpful when reviews are positive, and just like happy clients may share their good experiences with others – happy employees are the ones to leave positive reviews on recruiting sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.

Boost in Retention

Data from the Transforming Employee Experience report found that retaining top talent has become more difficult for 46 percent of business and professional service organizations this past year. While there are many reasons why, increasing EX expectations was identified as the second biggest threat to retention (following the remote working environment caused by COVID-19). As previously noted, engagement can play a big role in EX, thus having a ripple effect on retention as well. Employees who are engaged within their roles – whether that be with professional development opportunities, regular meetings with their teams or technology that supports collaboration and connecting with other colleagues – is a sign of an organization that prioritizes EX. This can result in a boost in retention as employees are less likely to search for a new career if they are satisfied in their current role and working environment.

Engagement’s Organizational Reach

It’s clear that employee engagement can have a ripple effect within an organization, but this list is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, engagement can even influence the culture of an organization, with isolved’s research showing that most HR leaders within the business and professional services industry say the top way to improve culture is with employee engagement programs. This means that if your organization is prioritizing retention, recruitment, experience and culture – taking a look at current engagement initiatives and mapping out ways to improve is a good place to start.

Did you know social-good programs can boost engagement? Learn how giving and volunteering maps to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B), wellness and wellbeing, and recruiting and retention by downloading our Give a Little, Gain a Lot eBook.