Established in 1925, Radian set out with the goal of creating self-contained communities with a good balance of housing and infrastructure, where people had everything they needed to succeed in one place. Since their humble beginnings, the company has grown to become one of the largest housing associations in the south of England.
As an organisation, Radian understands the value of people, which is why they invest in creating a culture that is embodied by continuous development and supportive mentoring.
It’s for this same reason that the company invested in Peakon, which allows senior leaders to act on employee feedback and measure the impact of engagement on the business.
Aaron Blaxall, HR Business Analyst, was instrumental in helping Radian to establish the link between engagement and other business metrics. He will be sharing the main findings of his work, along with the impact it’s had on the business since.
Demonstrating the value of engagement to senior leadership
As a HR team, we understand the value of investing in employee engagement, but when we first introduced Peakon, we didn’t do a very good job of getting buy-in from the rest of the business. Our directors and executive team understood what engagement was about, but not how important it was and how it linked to everyday business metrics.
That resonated with me personally. I felt that if we weren’t using our engagement data, then we were missing out on valuable insights – especially as turnover had been steadily increasing over the previous year and we were going through a period of transformation.
Our directors and executive team understood what engagement was about, but not how important it was and how it linked to everyday business metrics.
In order to demonstrate the impact of engagement, we first had to decide what to try and link it with. When I looked at the data we had available in our HRIS system, there were two obvious choices: Turnover and sickness. So that’s where I began.
Reducing turnover and absenteeism through engagement
Making the link was fairly straightforward and what we saw very quickly was that there was a relationship between engagement and turnover. We only did basic correlations in the first instance, but that was enough to show that if you increase engagement, turnover decreases.
As a result of those findings, we upgraded to the Premier package of Peakon so that we could make use of micro-courses and empower our managers to start taking more direct action.
Making the link was fairly straightforward and what we saw very quickly was that there was a relationship between engagement and turnover.
In the subsequent months, we were able to see a significant decrease in the amount of turnover and absenteeism across the business. This contributed to an annual decrease in employee turnover from 12% to 10.5%, and a reduction in absenteeism from 4.5% to 4%. It also helped to prove the value of engagement and get the buy-in we needed from senior leaders to do further analysis.
Uncovering the key driver of customer satisfaction
Once we had established a link between engagement and HR metrics, we started to look at the impact it was having on other business KPIs. Alongside engagement and growth, one of our key objectives is customer satisfaction.
In the past, we had assumed that our tradespeople were the ones who had a direct impact on customer satisfaction – especially as they had the most face-to-face contact with our customers. It was only when we were able to correlate NPS data with customer satisfaction scores that it became clear this was not the case. That’s when we started to look at other customer-facing functions within the business.
Peakon helped to point us in the direction of our call centre colleagues, and when we took a closer look at the feedback, it was easy to identify specific issues – and what we could do to address them.
One of the most pressing issues was that people working in the call centre were struggling to hear what customers were saying because of how noisy the environment was. As you can imagine, this was making their work more difficult, and impacting the level of customer service they were able to provide.
In response to this feedback, we invested in new headsets for all of our call centre colleagues, and fitted out their office with sound boards to help alleviate the amount of noise. This led to an immediate increase in their NPS scores, and when we compared that data with our customer satisfaction scores, we were able to see a strong correlation between the two.
Setting an example for other businesses to follow
Once you start doing the analysis and demonstrating that engagement has an impact on business outcomes, people very quickly start to realise its true value.
I’m sure there are people out there who will know a lot more about this than I do, it’s just taking the first step that’s the biggest challenge. We’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re just taking the data that we have available and combining to see if there is a correlation.
Once you start doing the analysis and demonstrating that engagement has an impact on business outcomes, people very quickly start to realise its true value. We were at the point where we nearly gave up on engagement, so if I can help others realise the value of engagement sooner, then I would consider that a success.