Employee engagement has emerged as a critical driver of business success in our highly competitive marketplace. This workplace approach involves adopting specific techniques to keep your staff engaged, which means they are committed to your organisation's values and goals, and motivated to contribute to its success.
Indeed, employee engagement involves cultivating trust, integrity and transparent communication between an organisation and its team members. It encourages individuals to work to their greatest potential, which enhances the opportunity for business success. It inspires positive behaviours and attitudes in the workplace and gives employees a sense of pride towards the organisation.
To illustrate this, and to sufficiently emphasise the importance of keeping your employees engaged in your company, we've taken a closer look at what exactly a motivated and invested workforce can achieve – and why you should commit time and resources to ensure that this happens.
The Importance of Employee Engagement
According to a 2016 Gallup study, only 33% of US employees are engaged with their jobs. Disengaged employees are less productive and collaborative, which, in turn, affects customer service and diminishes sales. They are also less efficient, less motivated and less satisfied at work. They do not perform to their highest abilities and are not loyal to the firm that they work for.
In contrast, a workplace that encourages employee engagement results in excellent conditions for all staff to give their best each day. Companies that double the rate of engaged employees achieve, on average, 147% higher earnings per share than their competitors. Employee engagement draws out a more profound commitment from employees, resulting in reduced absences, fewer workplace mistakes and fewer grievances.
Here are some of the benefits of having an engaged workforce:
1. Improved Productivity
When workers are engaged, they perform better at their jobs. This is a simple reality. Of course, as a result of increased performance, your business then grows, meaning that it is in your interest to make an effort with your team.
When they are contributing productively and going beyond what is expected of them, your employees will feel like they are part of a bigger purpose than themselves.
They will find their jobs personally fulfilling and, since they are more productive, have more time to devote to other tasks, such as reaching out to more customers, helping other team members with challenging tasks, or providing assistance to existing customers.
2. Increased Loyalty
Engaged employees are advocates of your organisation, as they believe in and support your company's mission. They are emotionally committed to your business and its goals and are enthusiastic when dealing with your clients and customers.
They go above and beyond their workload, instead of merely saying the things they are paid to say, and as such, they help your business to grow because they share your passion and enthusiasm. This is a cornerstone of Apple's success, for example, where workers buy into the vision and the culture of the organisation and possess the same fanatical belief in the company's work as its senior management team.
In fact, research from the Korn Ferry Institute has found that engaged employees can cause companies to grow twice as much as companies with lower engagement levels. They radiate enthusiasm and are incredibly passionate about the products or services they are selling, which shines through in their interactions with customers.
This leads to better customer experiences, and increased customer loyalty, including repeat purchases and recommendations to friends.
3. Reduced Sick Leave
Engaged people turn up to work more regularly, taking an average of 2.69 sick days per year, compared with an average of 6.19 sick days per year for disengaged employees.
4. Enhanced Retention Levels
Research shows that engaged employees are far less likely to leave their jobs than disengaged employees. This means you are retaining talented, motivated individuals who work hard and exceed performance expectations. This also enhances your brand's perception in your customers' eyes, as well as those in your industry.
When competition for leading talent is high, and it is costly to train new hires, you cannot afford to have disengaged employees, particularly when you consider the significant benefits of innovation, improved profits and a competitive business.
However, engaged employees will not feel the need to look elsewhere for employment as they feel valued by your organisation and invested in their roles.
5. An Improved Workplace Culture
A great workplace culture inspires employees and encourages them to get involved, speak up, challenge things, enhance the culture and expect to see progress. Building a workplace where people are inspired by the organisation's purpose, connected to the strategy and confident to speak up is essential.
Organisations with high levels of engagement develop leaders and managers to impact their culture positively. This drives high performance, builds trust and creates excellent working relationships between managers and staff.
6. Intrinsically Motivated Staff
Engaged employees are intrinsically motivated and find their work to be personally fulfilling. They receive personal satisfaction from what they do and are not driven solely by a paycheck. They are more focused, present and energised, which improves the brand experience for customers.
7. Positive Impact on Profitability and Revenue
Engaged employees can directly impact your bottom line on profitability. A study of 64 organisations found that businesses with highly engaged personnel experience twice the annual net income of those whose employees fall behind on engagement. This is because customers have a better experience, and therefore want to return to your brand repeatedly.
How can you Increase Engagement?
The above findings demonstrate the considerable impact that employee engagement can have on a business. Not only does it result in happier, more engaged members of staff, but it also has the power to increase your profits and revenue.
Research shows that if organisations want to succeed and grow faster than the competition – and keep on growing for years to come – managers should:
- Talk to and listen to their teams
- Reward them for a job well done
- Give them opportunities to learn
- Keep them focused on their goals
Organisations with high levels of engagement invest in their people, develop their leaders, have exceptional resources and offer opportunities for career growth. Adopting this approach will help you to take your culture from good to great.
Indeed, in great organisations, employees feel like they receive the training and resources they need to do a great job. They have opportunities to grow in their current position, with significant career development opportunities on offer.
Creating a culture of engagement drives long-term results and organisational success. This has been demonstrated in countless organisations across the globe, who understand the importance of employee engagement and adopt this approach.
What are you doing to drive engagement in your business? What changes are you making to shift results, and what are you doing to create a culture of engagement? Let us know your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.