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Employee Engagement: A Lever for Accelerating the Strategic Advisory Value of HR and Managing Workforce Risks

Recently, a group of state attorneys general submitted a letter to the American Bar Association (ABA) in support of law school diversity.  The letter was in response to another group of state attorneys general that had previously denounced acceptance of diversity requirements for law schools promulgated by an entity affiliated with the ABA. Nonetheless, this post is not about the DEI debate regarding diversity for law schools, but instead there’s a broader issue at play, particularly for the workplace.

The difference of opinion between state attorneys general of different political parties is representative of how contentious DEI has become. Given the level of contentiousness, DEI and other politically charged conversations have the potential to become a workforce risk when employees (or others) express their opinions in the workplace. DEI, however, is not the only topic that generates debate, and oftentimes discord, under the current socio-political climate.  With the upcoming U.S. election less than 6 months away, there are a several topics that are likely to stir differing opinions – abortion, transgender healthcare, and immigration, just to name a few. While free speech protections exist under the Constitution, those protections are not broadly applicable and private workplaces are settings where free speech is not necessarily guaranteed.  Therefore, if conversations surrounding election politics carry over from home settings to the workplace it could lead to conflict. Workplace conflict can further lead to toxic workplaces with adverse impacts on business outcomes. U.S. employers should ensure that they are prepared to mitigate risks related to discord among workers due to contentious topics as a business necessity, especially in light of so many socio-political and socio-cultural schisms headlining the 2024 election. 

To mitigate workforce risks related to political differences, employers can take proactive action now by promoting healthy workforce campaigns and reinforcing a respectful workplace through positive behaviors and interactions among employees including leaders. Employee engagement is an effective way to promote a healthy workforce.  Understanding the degree to which employees feel psychologically safe to speak up and express their opinions is a key indicator of employee engagement.  Further, employers can properly manage their work environments socially when they have insight about psychological safety to guide their actions on employee engagement.  Engagement data is an effective source for providing reliable insights on employee sentiments that can be helpful in predicting employee behaviors and proactively managing those behaviors to influence a healthy workplace. Whether it’s DEI or other potentially contentious topics, employers can begin gathering engagement data to measure, monitor and track a variety of employee sentiments including, but not limited to, psychological safety to gauge the success of their workforce experiences. In addition, employers should ensure that workplace policies effectively communicate acceptable workplace behaviors, and those policies should be consistently enforced. By proactively managing the workforce experience through active employee engagement and relevant policies, employers are thereby equipped to positively impact their people, including their people’s behaviors, and their business.

Disengaged Workforce is a Top 3 risk for HR and a Top 10 risk for businesses globally based on cross-functional input from over 4,000 HR and Risk leaders surveyed in the MercerMarsh People Risk 2024 report. Moreover, Gallup reports that employers with Disengaged Workers have 23% lower profitability than employers with a Highly Engaged Workforce. The time is now to create a strategic approach to avoiding costs related to people risks. Given Gartner’s recent finance predictions that CFOs can expect a 30% drop in profitability by 2027 due, in part, to increasing labor costs, employers should prioritize maximizing the value of their people – engagement is an effective way for managing the workforce experience and HR is the gateway to protecting the value people contribute to business outcomes.

At TULIP, we’re accelerating the strategic advisory value of HR by enabling HR to keep a pulse on people to:

👉Protecting Human Capital Assets,

👉Mitigating Enterprise People Risks,

👉Enhancing the Workforce Experience, and

👉Safeguarding the Bottom Line

Our innovative, data-driven methodology utilizes a systematic approach to managing enterprise people risks with an easy to use, technology-enabled people risk assessment - our engagement technology offers immediate measurement results. Moreover, we create a data story using deep insights with a focus on proactive people interventions in the workforce experience to transform unmitigated and under-mitigated risks into positive outcomes – that’s what we call The TULIP Way.

If you’re looking for a collaborative partner to help you understand how engagement helps your people and your business thrive, you’re looking for a partner like TULIP Advisory Professionals LLC, your bottom-line advocate for proactive, workforce risk-mitigation solutions. Contact us to learn more at or at (678) 990-0910. We look forward to hearing from you!

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