The business case for employer to employee engagement
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Twenty years ago, the Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) embarked on a fundamentally critical mission to assist its member companies and associations engage private sector employees in the workplace with non-partisan information about elections and policy issues that, in turn, educates employees about those elections and motivates them to advocate on good, pro-jobs policies with their state and federal officials. Today, hundreds of the nation’s top companies and associations undertake these employer to employee (E2E) engagement programs because they realize that the business community’s biggest allies on pro-prosperity policies and elections can be their own employees. Where employers provide factual and unbiased information to their employees, those employees absorb that information and use it in deciding who to vote for and what to advocate with their state and federal officials. Why? Because employees care about their jobs and the success of their companies, and they want to have their voices heard in the electoral and legislative processes along with all of the other issue group advocates.

After each congressional election, BIPAC commissions Moore Information Group to survey employees across the country to measure the impact of E2E that year. In 2018, the results were impressive. We found that employees view their employer as the most credible source of policy and election information, and that 64 percent of employees are more likely to vote after they received such information. Further, a whopping 84 percent of those voting employees found the information helpful in deciding how to vote in elections. And one in five employees indicated that they actually contacted a legislator to advocate on a policy issue as a result of the information received. However, despite such positive outcomes stemming from E2E programs, only 27 percent of employees reported receiving such information from their company in 2018. Clearly, the business community is failing when 73 percent of private sector employees are not receiving critical information that directly impacts the decisions they would make as citizen-voters and advocates.

But beyond the external return — the corporate social responsibility benefit — that employers receive from promoting their employees’ more active engagement as citizen-voters and advocates, are there other internal “ROI” dividends that employers receive when they implement strong and effective E2E programs? For the first time in BIPAC’s 56-year history, we studied that question in another Moore survey just completed in July. And the survey conclusions are eye-opening! Where employees received election, candidate and policy information within the past three years:

  • 72% consider themselves more informed voters and citizens
  • 72% believe their company cares about their community and is a good corporate citizen
  • 70% would recommend their company as a place to work to a friend or family member
  • 62% believe that that information fosters a stronger employer-employee relationship
  • 57% believe that that information increased their understanding of the company’s mission and values

Bottom line, employees strongly believe their employer should be active in promoting policies favorable to their industry and economic success (67 percent), yet so few receive such information in the workplace. However, with the results of this recent Moore survey, it should be clear to all employers that not only do vibrant E2E programs externally produce tangible results in our electoral and legislative processes, these programs have a most positive and direct influence on how employees view their own relationship with their employer. Efforts to constantly strengthen and nurture that employer-employee relationship is a major priority for all successful businesses because they understand that this relationship has a tremendous effect on employee satisfaction, productivity and longevity and, hence, company success. Consequently, business leaders across the country need to understand both the external and internal ROI that effective E2E programs bring — not only to their own success, but to our nation as well.

Jim GerlachJames (Jim) GerlachThe business case for employer to employee engagement 2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline MORE serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Business-Industry Political Action Committee. He is a former member of Congress from Pennsylvania.