Evidence Case Study: Marks and Spencer (2) 

 The following case study was provided as part of the evidence for the effectiveness of employee engagement strategies in improving performance, productivity and, in the private sector profitability.  It has been used cumulatively with other submissions compiled by many leading companies and organisations to leave little room for doubt about the statistical importance of engaging employees.

This particular case study is an additional support to The Evidence Paper


Employee Engagement Background

Marks and Spencer Group plc, through its subsidiaries, engages in retailing clothing, food, and home products, employing over 78,000 people in the UK and abroad. M&S has over 700 UK stores plus an expanding international business.

Marks & Spencer complete an annual employee engagement survey Your Say, which aims to capture employee views on the Company, their Job and their Manager. Each business area/store receives three scores following the survey: manager scores, a positivity score and an engagement score.

Employee Engagement Results:
During the first six months of 2012, in conjunction with Stillae Ltd, Marks & Spencer have completed analysis of their Your Say data from the previous four years.

They identified that employee engagement has a direct link to Sales performance of stores, as well as non-financial KPIs including their Mystery Shop score (customer satisfaction) and employee absence.

The study group excluded one third of stores, which were outside of “business as usual”, in order to identify robust and reliable links (stores were filtered objectively – e.g. because of unusually large changes in sales targets).

Correlation between employee engagement and sales

The most valuable correlation demonstrated was between employee engagement and sales. Once store size was taken into account, both engagement itself and the changes in engagement from one year to the next were found to correlate to sales performance (% of target and % sales growth).

The longitudinal study demonstrated that the long-term engagement trend correlated with the long-term sales trend. Across the study group of 137 high street stores, those with an improving engagement trend over the four years, significantly outperformed the stores where engagement scores were declining (compared to respective sales targets).

They were able to put a value on the additional sales generated, which when applied across the Premier, Major & High Street Division showed that stores with improving engagement had delivered an average of £62 million more sales to the business every year, compared to stores with declining engagement.

Over the same four years, stores with higher engagement delivered better customer results, with the most engaged third of stores achieving 3% higher mystery shop scores, compared to the least engaged third.

The more engaged stores also showed better staff attendance, with absenteeism 8% lower in the most engaged third of store.

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