Business case studies

Engagement at Clarks Case Study

Engagement at Clarks Case Study

Shoe retailer Clarks looked into the relationship between engagement and financial performance. The first question they asked was: is there a connection at all?

Because the company already reported higher-than-average levels of engagement, it looked into the returns of engagement and whether the returns of engagement would diminish with higher levels.

The team worked with statisticians who ran the retailer’s distribution planning system. In total, 450 business performance data points were included in the analysis.

According to the report, the results showed that there was indeed a connection. Engagement leads to higher business performance. In Clarks’ case, every 1% (percentage point) improvement in engagement, lead to an improvement of 0.4% (percentage point) in business performance.

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To learn from this and to make it more actionable, the team also analyzed the characteristics of the 100 best performing stores, both quantitatively and qualitatively. They found that there was an optimum team size in the store and that the length of tenure of a store manager was a significant predictor of performance. This meant that switching store managers frequently lead to lower performance.

With these insights, the team was able to create a blueprint for high-performing stores. In addition, they created an engagement toolkit that managers can use to improve performance.

According to the company’s Chief People Officer, the results speak for themselves. “the UK retail business has systematically out-performed internal targets and external benchmarks, year on year. We’ve grown market share too.”

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