Gallup, the Omaha, Neb.-based polling firm, announced the 27 winners of its 2012 Great Workplace Awards earlier this year. The awards are given to organizations that it feels are doing the best job of, among other things, connecting employee-engagement initiatives to business results.
"The most important criteria is ... are they taking a workforce that's psychologically committed to their jobs and leveraging that to impact the business?" says Larry Ruhlman, Gallup's global practice manager for workplace strategies. Gallup chooses the winners from among companies that are using its tools for measuring engagement. Of 250 such clients, only 20 percent even meet the minimum threshold to apply.
In general, HR hasn't done particularly well in connecting greater engagement with business outcomes, says Will Werhane, vice president of Hay Group Insight in Chicago. "For HR leaders at our largest clients, this is at the top of their agenda: 'How do we create a closer link between what we're doing and business metrics?' "