Click here to see the cost of unhappiness

All too commonly used and thrown around is the phrase “return on investment” (ROI). We attempted to explain ROI for events years ago here, but it’s about time we revisit the idea.  What does ROI really mean besides the common definition?  For “x” amount of dollars invested one receives an output of “y” amount of dollars. But is that the only metric businesses should focus on? Although important, it tells you one thing: Congratulations! You have more dollars today than you had yesterday (hopefully). However, it does not fill in the gaps that reflect the quality of the work, the progress with a client and most importantly the many unspoken conversations in the office.

One non-verbal conversation worth noting in event marketing is the audience’s attention. Much like a textbook, an event can have the accurate information it needs, the text can be printed on paper or displayed on Powerpoint, and the message can be read out-loud in person. Yet, we’ve all experienced that moment when after catching a red-eye flight to San Francisco, you’ve been gathered round in a large auditorium and the need to doze off suddenly clicks when the lights are dimmed. The speaker’s mouth is moving and although sound is captured with your ears, the words are meaningless because you simply just.don’ Although the above situation may not seem highly problematic or widespread, would you start to care if it affected your bottom line, and therefore your income, directly? Ah, now I’ve captured your attention! Much like the silent, but deadly curse of dwindling audience attention span, another similar problem is plaguing many offices everyday– the lack of employee engagement. According to this graph, “70% of US workers are disengaged at work.” 

Cueing back to the top of this post is the ROI. At FLIRT we like to say “treat your coworkers as consumers” which is a mantra we’ve collectively derived from observing companies for over 20 years – Employers remember client/customer happiness, but many forget the most important customers of all- their employees. The boss expects employees to arrive in time, caffeine already injected in their veins, ready to crush today’s reports since it is written in the job description, the orientation handbook, spoken in the production meetings, and pay day is Friday. So what if it’s Friday? Logically, it should make sense that input X: salary, productions meetings, orientation seminars will lead to output Y: productivity, happiness, and engagement. However, the inputs listed above are nothing more than reasons and if trying to win the hearts of your employees here’s a piece of advice from Blaise Pascal:

“The heart has its reasons, which reason knows nothing of.”

Any job hunter can find the right reasons in a company- location, role, salary. What makes them stay is a different story and it typically involves the heart, the people, the whys and why nots, or the hunch that this place is truly something special. At FLIRT, we supply the creative solutions that channel the hearts of employees. Internal events or conferences should accomplish more than just rallying troops around your sales goals or presenting profit margins from that last fiscal year. They should also keep in mind first time engagers by:

  1. Offering an arena to ease into the new company culture of office engagement
  2. Providing a platform to rebrand your company  as one that acknowledges worker engagement and care
  3. Celebrate your employees because, at the end of the day, they are your most valuable asset


Don’t just take our word for it though, there are numbers and studies that back these claims up.

Besides increased employee retention since engaged workers are 87% less likely to leave an organization, engagement and happiness makes a difference to customers and that difference is visible- 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, 3x higher creativity. Even without statistics or verbal communication, the message is made clear-  happy workers inform the consumer (and potential investors) that the company is happy. If the company is happy, one can infer that the company is healthy, stable, and successful! This can only mean several things: more customers, more workers, and more prospects. There can be no losses when investing in engagement, only gains. Although engagement might seem like a “marketing” question, it’s a question for all. How can we create engagement in all aspects of the work environment that will allow and encourage everyone to be curious, to create, and be proud of your work? Now that’s something that impacts your bottom line, and then some.