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A Quick Engagement Audit Enabled a Targeted, Highly Successful Engagement Plan

A small manufacturing plant with approximately 250 employees was experiencing significant reductions in sales volume and production. It was imperative the company improve productivity, customer service delivery, timeliness and morale, while minimizing costs. Company leadership believed employee engagement was key to improving business results. They had good employee insight data from their engagement survey and a separate post-survey attitude segmentation analysis, but didn't know how best to proceed with an effective Engagement Plan.


An Engagement Audit was quickly accomplished which reviewed workforce insight data, business performance goals, engagement and performance gaps, communications, workforce policies, cultural values and key drivers of negative and positive attitudes. Together with key leaders, a targeted Engagement Plan was developed to increase the numbers of employees who were supportive and aligned with company direction and leadership. In order to create this positive shift, a coalition of support for the Engagement Plan was built among plant leadership. Critical issues driving negative attitudes among the more positive employee groups were identified and addressed. A cornerstone of the Engagement Plan was upgrading the quality of the management team and driving consistency in leadership actions, particularly relating to performance management.


Approximately 6 months into the Engagement Plan, economic conditions worsened and a performance-based layoff of more than 10% of the plant employees was required. The Company continued to address employee issues of concern and improve plant leadership. Within 3 months of the layoff, the workforce, even though reduced, had measurably improved production continuity, quality and customer service delivery timelines. Morale among managers had also increased. Recognizing that disengaged employees are generally less productive, less quality and customer centric and poor performers than their highly engaged co-workers, the Company’s focus on improving attitudes paid dividends in improved business results.