Webinar Rewatch: Workforce Engagement – is it worth it?

Workforce Engagement: Is it worth it? A webinar with Jon Bennett

How to demonstrate ROI on engagement and communications in your healthcare business.

We all know that communication and engagement can be the cornerstone of a happy and productive frontline workforce, but it’s often seen as a nice-to-have addition rather than a core strategy.

So, is it really worth the cost and the effort to implement?

In this webinar we’ll breakdown the Return on Investment that effective usage of these tools and strategies can have in your organisation, especially in the Healthcare and Social Care sector, where the front-line workforce hours do not often tally with the availability of your HR function.

Catch up on the webinar now:

So, to summarise – is Workforce Engagement worth it? Only if you want to improve every aspect of your business and save money doing so.

What are you waiting for – book your demo now.


Gemma Bullock (GB)

Morning everybody! 

‘Workforce engagement – is it worth it?’ is our topic today, with our amazing CEO, Jon Bennett!

It’s great for me because I get to have a rest from doing these webinars, we’ve done two already. So, we’ve done an ‘Introduction to Engagement’ and some ‘Myth Busting’ but today we’re going to really focus on ‘Is Engagement Worth It?’. 

People that will be on this call will be people that already believe that investing in workforce engagement and connectivity is really, really important, but how do you get that past your Finance Director? How do you create your business case? It’s by looking at the return on investment. 

So here you will see ‘for decades, investing in workforce engagement and connectivity improvement has been seen as a cost.’ 

We’re here to show you that when it’s done right, this improvement is both a cost-saver and a revenue generator. It will have the benefit of being the best thing for your people and, as leaders we have a responsibility to look after the people that work for us, and it will also be great for your bottom line as a cost-saver and a revenue generator.

I’m pleased to introduce Jon Bennett, who’s going to take you through the return on investment. Over to you, Jon. 

Jon Bennett (JB)

Thank you very much Gemma, you’ve got a well deserved break, but I will be bringing you back in for the questions and answers at the end, because I’m sure there will be some for you. So a brief introduction to me, Gemma already said it, I’m Jon Bennett, the CEO here at Ryalto. I can’t quite believe it now, but I’ve been working with organisations all over the world for about 22 years now on all things workforce from recruitment, to retention, to performance management, communication and engagement. I’ve been introduced to those customers by the team as a workforce strategy expert. It’s rather grand. I’m not sure I completely agree with it, but I certainly love working with organisations. I certainly absolutely believe people are the most important part of any organisation. So if there’s any benefit I can add through the things that we do, and the things that I’ve learned, then that’s good news. But it’s definitely enough about me.

So before we go into the nitty-gritty, just some bits about the webinar today. I’m absolutely gonna stick to 15 minutes and we’re already underway. So trust me we will get to that timeframe on time. And then there will be questions and answers after that 15 minutes. So as they come to mind, please just pop them into the comments box or the chat, and Gemma will host us a little questions and answer session right at the end.

Okay, so let’s get into the actual webinar itself. Let’s look at some of the themes first. We’ll look at the themes, then we’re going to look at the building blocks of what creates the background to your return on investment, and then we’re going to jump into a live calculator – an Excel spreadsheet – that  means we can actually put those building blocks into cells. Those cells drive a figure and that figure drives your overall expected return on investment. 

We’re going to start with a theory, go through the building blocks and then turn that into actual numbers. 

So let’s look at this then… everybody probably appreciates that when you have better engaged, better committed people that are connected to a central purpose, then better things happen for your organisation – very few people would argue with that. 

Happier people, better engaged people, better connected, better committed to purpose -that’s got to be good for your business. What we understand people might struggle with though is actually translating that belief into financials, into numbers that can be shown to FD’s [Financial Directors], to leaders. We’re covering the FD’s today! 

HR directors as well, who need to understand that financial return. It’s always been important, let’s face it, getting something through a business case in today’s economy is going to be even harder without putting hard cold numbers against things, and the good news is we know that we can do that and we’re going to show you that today.

Before we look at the benefits of having an engaged workforce, let’s actually look at some of the costs or risks of having a disengaged workforce. And we know from the great work that Gemma has done over the last two webinars, an  incredible, terrifying 88% of people in the UK are disengaged with their work, and that’s according to Gallup Research in 2022

88% of people in the UK are disengaged with their work

That’s pretty terrifying if you think that this engagement is driving these costs to your organisations. So let’s look at the cost of staff attrition first. Again, it’s pretty hard to deny, if you’re losing the people that you want to keep, sometimes you lose the people you don’t want to keep – let’s focus on the ones you do! 

So if you’re losing the people you want to keep, that is going to be directly costing your business. You can put numbers against it. How much does it cost you to replace that person in sourcing, recruitment and onboarding fees? Even if you do it in-house and not using an agency, there’s a massive cost to that; for using an agency, that cost goes up. Then you’ve got the training period, you’ve got the period of time that they’re not effective in their roles as they will be in three to six months further down the road, that has a direct cost to your business. 

Losing the people that you want to keep because of poor engagement is definitely a cost. Then the cost of low-quality candidates. If you have a disengaged workforce, if you’re not investing in communications and engagement and keeping that population committed to purpose, you’re not going to have the best people. You’re going to lose the ones you want to keep, they’ll be the best people and you’re going to find it harder to attract the best people in the market. In a very talent poor market anyway, so you’re going to have lower quality people in your organisation. Those people will not be delivering the best quality of work. They will not be delivering the best volume of output, and that directly affects the effectiveness of your business which will be your financials, your revenues, or for our NHS customers, it will be a disadvantage when they’re trying to hit their budgets.

Costs of fines and human error sounds very dramatic. Let’s look at human error first. Again, we know from data [we have] and Gemma is very happy to share it with you offline. We know that organisations have disengaged people, where communications and engagement isn’t being invested in, they are more likely to make errors. Now those errors in the workplace could be fairly significant. 

If you translate that to healthcare and social care, of course, there is a direct translation into mortality rates and patient experiences, which is pretty terrifying. We know that human errors are there. 

How about the cost of fines? Organisations right now are being fined for breaches of GDPR, for breaches of process. That’s often because of a communications breakdown – that worker did not know how to do something effectively, efficiently and correctly. If you have the right communications and engagement processes in place, you can massively reduce or even eradicate some of those fines and risks of human error. 

And then of course, let’s look at the cost of having workers with poor wellbeing support. There’s never been a time in the global marketplace where workers have struggled more for their mental health and their mental wellbeing [as there is now]. We know that directly translates into a pretty significant problem in healthcare and broader care settings. 

If you don’t have the right communication and engagement processes in place, how can you possibly expect to translate anything you’re doing to help improve that wellbeing of your workforce into actual activity that directly reaches them and helps them. Now even if you have those processes in place, which many organisations don’t, they can’t be translated direct to that workforce, which could be very costly. 

There’s the real costs of being disengaged. Let’s move on. 

What are the benefits though? These are the building blocks. We’re going to take these building blocks and translate these building blocks into the calculator. Let’s look at the blocks first. So when you drive better connectivity, communications engagement and connection to purpose, we get the reduced spend on agency temps and contractors. If you’re lowering your attrition, you lower your costs in those areas. You have reduced recruitment and training spend. You improve that workforce productivity – that happier, more connected, more aligned worker does more for your business. 

Higher volume, better quality equals better productivity. 

Again, the data shows us sickness levels and absence drops, that translates into better quality of your customers. In healthcare, your customers are your patients or your service users. 

Reduced risk through everybody just understanding their procedures. Through COVID, things were changing at such a rate that without something that connects that workforce instantly to those changes, there’s going to be a period of time that they are operating without that knowledge. That creates risk and it creates fines.

We know that many organisations are now using social media tools to connect and communicate because their employers aren’t giving them the right technology within their work environment. Now when they move to social media, that brings massive risk. Risk of sending information to the wrong people, risks of information leaking or bleeding into other devices or other processes, so that in itself is creating massive risk. We know that if we are effective in our communication engagement we will have fewer roster gaps driving better patient care and outcomes. We know that it can help translate into that wellbeing support. And of course, we can reduce that level of staff turnover that we discussed earlier, that could be costing your business fairly significantly. 

There are the building blocks, as we call them. So we understand that the benefits are there. We now know what those building blocks are. Our next task is to allocate those building blocks into direct numbers using our calculator. But before we do that, I’m going to hand it back to Gemma because I’m sure some of you are thinking “that all sounds great Jon, can you help us actually get there once we understand these numbers?” and Gemma is going to talk you through exactly how we do that.

Higher volume, better quality equals better productivity. 


Thanks, Jon. So what we like to do at Ryalto is work together with you, to deliver those ROI savings. How we do that is to firstly understand what those targets look like for you, where those priorities lie, and where it is in your organisation that you really want to drive those improvements. Then we help you to use the tool to actually drive them. 

So whether that is a focus on recruitment and we start to post jobs on Ryalto and we start to talk to your candidates, and onboard them via the tool, or whether that is a drive to increase your staff survey results or to lower attrition. We work with you and your senior leadership team to really drive those results through Ryalto. 

As Jon will show you now on the ROI calculator, you’ll start to see some of the numbers that come through when we work with you, as a partnership, to deliver those KPI’s. Back to you Jon.


Thanks, Gemma. Okay, we’re going to start small. So we’re going to go with an organisation with 100 staff. Now that’s the only number you actually need in order to do a rough draft using this calculator. And we tend to find most people know how many staff they’ve got approximately, if you know the other numbers then that’s fantastic, we can work directly off that data as well. 

Today we’re going to focus on the Ryalto benchmarks, which is across our entire customer base and network. So we’re going to start with 100 people. And the calculator assumes an attrition rate of about 18%, if we do the research, that is pretty typical.  The NHS for example runs at 16 to 20. The number of sick days – that would be taken across that population. We’ve said 700, that’s seven per employee. NHS data is 14, industry says 4-10 so 7 seems like a reasonable number and is our benchmark. How many agency hires are made per year? There’s 11 there. That’s assuming that 60% of those attritional hires are agency hires, which, again, is fairly standard across multiple industries. How many refer-a-friend hires are made? We’re basing that on 10% of the attrition hires. And then how many patient data leaks occurred and you could translate that into social care or service users, but we’ve chosen patient data leaks today. And then the turnover, the calculator assumes a certain percentage of turnover or level of turnover based on your employees. Again, that’s a number that we do tend to find organisations might know off the top of the head. So if you know that number of employees here and the turnover here, then we can get an even more accurate ROI. 

Now what we’ve got then is two areas of the calculator. If you don’t have any targets and just want to know, based on other Ryalto customers, what are the outcomes that you might expect, then our benchmarks pull through and calculate some of the improvements we expect to see if you improve engagement and underpin it with the Ryalto technology and our support services. 

So if you don’t have any targets, we can just rely on those benchmarks. If you do have targets then you can pop those targets in here so we can put the target attrition rate, target number of sick days that you’re targeting, how many agency hires you’d like to make, how many refer-a-friend hires you’re expecting to make, the target number of data leaks which could be zero, but probably not, and the turnover improvement that you’re looking to achieve through your overall employee engagement program.

Okay, so we’ve put that in for a hundred people, let’s have a look at the numbers and hopefully you’ll see that they’re quite staggering.

So, based on the benchmark data that we’ve got from other customers that we’ve done this for, a 100 person organisation can save approximately £100,000. Bear in mind that the Ryalto costs of that, if you are underpinning it with Ryalto, would be just a few thousand pounds. There’s an awful lot of savings to be made on top of your Ryalto costs if you like. Now savings based on targets, I haven’t put those in here, you can see that if you do have your own targets you can drive even greater return investment. 

Okay, so I promised I’d stick to time with two minutes left. You probably get the gist of it, but that was for 100 people. So 100 people is driving a £100,000 level of savings. Let’s go for a slightly larger organisation. Let’s go for 1,250 people. You’ll see that our calculator automatically updates and it drives through to the savings down here. So as you might expect our attrition savings are greater, our sick day savings are greater, referring more friends, we are reducing the data leaks, turnover is improving as well. 

You can see that actually for even a medium-sized organisation of 1,250 people, our calculator is driving a return on investment number of over £1.2 million. 

All we’ve done there is taken those building blocks. So if we believe in the building blocks, we’ve applied market approved data and for the savings that can be applied when you improve those building blocks – we’ve taken those numbers, we put them on an Excel spreadsheet and we’ve driven that return on investment outcome.

Hopefully, that gives you a sense that we can put financial numbers to improving employee engagement, especially if you underpin it with a solution like Ryalto. 

Okay. Well, I think we’ve stuck to time Gem? 

Return on investment of over £1.2 million for an organisation of 1,250 people


Yeah, you have!  

We’ve got some questions in the box. So should we dive straight in? 


Yeah, let’s do it. 


And the first one- the calculating looks great, but our current numbers are different to those that you used. How do I know it will work for us? 


Yeah, okay. So we expect that. As I said earlier, we based those on our benchmark data, but we would expect individual examples to be quite different and the best thing to do is to arrange a follow-up session with me and/or Gemma. 

We will actually take your real numbers and put them in. Now because the savings are so significant against each of those building blocks and unless you’re already running at rockstar levels of attrition, of data leaks, of risk, then you’re going to see an improvement. And any level of improvement drives thousands of pounds of savings. 

So and could be a bit up, it could be a bit down, but we’re pretty confident your numbers will give you something that will be impressive. 


Amazing, and the next one – if we use the calculator as it shows us good returns, would you help with the wider business case document to support it? 


Yeah, I’ll flip that one over to Gemma, but you know, that’s an absolute given, would actually love to support.


Absolutely. So what we tend to do when we’re working with clients is help them to build out the whole business case and put the return on investment for their organisation in there, but also have a look at the actual culture of the organisation, what’s happening there at the moment and anything that we can add in that might be happening at the moment which will increase or decrease those numbers. So we’ll build something really specific for you to present to your Exec team and your Finance Director. 

The final question we’ve got so far “Have you had any success convincing a grumpy FD that those ROI numbers are real or is it only usually HR that actually buy into this?” 


So I think I won’t say that they were grumpy FD’s because our poor customers will know who they are. But certainly we’ve worked with FD’s, Gem so you know, this is such a core part of what we do and we absolutely appreciate that when we’re talking about improving something like communications engagement and connection to purpose, that those words aren’t super comfy to every different part of an organisation. And why would they be if people are focusing on different priorities? 

We’re so passionate about it. And we think we can sell it as a concept and as you know, Gemma, I think 100% of the time we end up coming down to return on investment, and in this market nobody really buys anything without being sure of that return on investment and absolutely rightly so, they shouldn’t do. I think it’s fair to say in every scenario that we worked on in the last year, there’s always been a finance person involved. I won’t say they’ve always been grumpy, they’ve always needed a bit of convincing and they always want to see solid numbers before they agree to investment – would you agree with that?


Yeah, I think the things that people can’t argue with is that we’re in a “Great Resignation”, that the percentages of resignations are higher than ever, that turnover is higher than ever and that the workforce wants something different post-COVID. I think those things are absolute and whether it’s a Finance Director or not, they can agree with those things. So where we tend to go with those conversations with the Finance Director is let’s look at your turnover, let’s look at your vacancies and let’s look if you could even retain 1% of those people – would that make a difference to your bottom line? Exploring that agency spend that’s normally where we start, because those are absolutes that they look at every single day and they know those figures. From there, some of the more ’fluffy’, as people start to call it, areas do fit within the HR team and they agree with those, but let’s get to those core things that matter to a Finance Director, and that’s probably the conversations we have the most with them. 


There is nothing that worries me with all of that. I don’t think we’ve ever had a conversation where somebody hasn’t agreed that happier, better connected, better communicated to people who understand the purpose. They were working towards it every day. There’s no one that can really argue that that doesn’t drive a greater volume of work and better quality work. Like that just makes sense, doesn’t it? 

If your team is on that same page, they’re going to do more and what they do is going to be better quality than if they’re completely disconnected, disengaged with the work and have no idea why they’re coming to work every day. So if you’ve got all your people working in that way, then surely the business is going to improve and all the organisations are going to improve, and it’s pretty straightforward to push those benefits through to the bottom line, I think. Hopefully our numbers just make that more visible, but hopefully that core concept of let’s have engaged, connected, happier people working for a central purpose. We can help deliver that through our consultancy services and the Ryalto tech can help underpin it, and I think that’s what we’re seeing across our customers every single day. 


Agree. And that is it no more questions in the Q & A box, Jon. 


Wonderful, great in that case we will wrap it up there. We’ve gone for 15 minutes plus a 5 minute Q & A, which I think is spot on. Rob Swift, he’s been running this in the background. I think we’re good to end the webinar. 

Rob Swift (RS)

We are! Thank you very much everyone. 



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