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 Tracking employee engagement in real time to drive customer satisfaction

Annual employee engagement surveys are not enough to take meaningful action to improve engagement - surveys should be done in real time, according to Vernon O'Donnell, Director, Employee Experience, Apollo Education Group, in order to drive internal alignment and a strong employee brand.  

A 2013 report from management consulting firm Bain & Company found that "HR groups rely on long, corporate-wide annual surveys and one-size-fits-all processes that focus on adherence, rather than encouraging changes tailored to the team level."  

"This centralized approach has innate problems that can actually lead to stagnant or declining engagement. Such surveys are too broad or infrequent to pick up important topical or team-specific issues," it detailed.  

Additionally, a 2013 Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report found that though 71 percent of more than 550 senior business leaders surveyed consider employee engagement important to achieving overall organizational success, only 24 percent believe their employees are highly engaged.  

O'Donnell, a speaker at the marcus evans 9th Annual Internal Branding and Employee Engagement Conference in Chicago, Illinois, April 29-30, 2014, highlights why real-time engagement tracking should be a key focus for better employee engagement.  

"If we do not have an established shared culture of success, we cannot implement enterprise-wide solutions as there is no way to assess performance. You need to be able to do that (assess performance) on an individual level to know who the successful people are and what makes them excel," O'Donnell said.  

"Instead of waiting 12 or 18 months for the next survey to assess the engagement initiative," O'Donnell said, "companies need to start tracking employee engagement and drivers that lead to productivity and business results in real time."  

"First they (companies) need to determine the strategic direction in order to engage employees and track what results it led to. Every week, they must see what impact decisions, internal announcements or market factors had on top-line engagement," he said.  

Employee engagement, which is linked to internal branding, is where shared values must be identified, driven by the employees themselves and not the HR function. This is particularly critical in companies that are global, or at least national, in nature.  

"The internal brand and culture have to be established similar to the way a company is differentiated in the marketplace," O'Donnell said. "To be successful and to have passionate employees who can sell the vision to customers, it all has to connect. Our company essentially sells people on their future. If we lack that internal alignment and strong brand, it will not drive customer satisfaction as employees will not be aligned to the vision," he concluded.  

For more information about the marcus evans 9th Annual Internal Branding and Employee Engagement Conference, please visit the event website  

For all enquiries contact: Tyler Kelch -

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