Getting to the Bottom Line Impact of Employee Engagement

Despite all that has been said or written about employee engagement, there’s still a question that’s hard to get a straight answer to: what’s the actual return on investment (the ROI) of employee engagement, anyway?

It’s a topic that’s tough to get around, or to get a good answer to. That’s why a lot of engagement studies soft-peddle or avoid it altogether, and that’s why this new infographic from the Madison Performance Group (they describe themselves as a “global web-based workforce recognition and employee incentives solution provider”), is interesting because it goes after the elusive issue of employee engagement ROI.

Titled Brand Ambassadors vs. Disengaged Employees, it illustrates the bottom line impact that highly engaged employees (aka, brand ambassadors) can deliver to their employers. And, the data an analysis in the infographic makes the case that, “fostering brand ambassadors through workforce recognition leads to higher employee engagement rates and can positively impact a company’s income and overall market valuation.”

Impacting the bottom line

“Engaged employees who successfully represent the company brand provide a competitive advantage and impact the bottom line – a crucial benefit in today’s competitive global business environment,” said Mike Ryan, Madison Performance Group’s senior vice president of marketing and strategy, in a press release that accompanied the infographic

He added: “Motivated employees are more productive and creative and recognition programs help keep them engaged and positive about their professional contributions to the organizations.”

Yes, engaged and motivated employees ARE more productive, but the big issue is getting a handle on exactly how much more so a highly engaged employee is versus someone else on the staff who isn’t as engaged.

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ROI: The Holy Grail of employee engagement

That’s always been the Holy Grail when it comes to measuring engagement, and frankly, I haven’t seen many cases where organizations or studies have gotten a good handle on it.

That’s why this inforgraphic got my attention — because it tries to answer the question, “just how much does employee engagement matter, anyway?”

Take a look for yourself, and let me know what you think with a comment here.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.