What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement occurs when people are happy in their professional roles and passionate about what they do. Highly engaged employees tend to work harder as they believe in the company’s mission and trust its values.
Engagement levels are high in an organization when people are pleased to come to work in the morning. When employees have a clear vision of their tasks and find meaning to their jobs, they are more efficient and are hungry to learn more. They know where they fit in the company and feel their input is valuable. If they have a problem they know their employer will listen.
Employee satisfaction is incredibly important to an organization. Happy employees are loyal and prove to be a great asset to the organization. They are likely to tell others about the fantastic place they work, making them company advocates.
Why is employee engagement important? The business benefits of employee engagement are immense:
- Contentment at work
- Higher productivity
- Increased profitability
- Better retention rates
- More communication
TOP 12 Employee Engagement Benefits
According to Gallup, simply measuring satisfaction is not enough. Approaching employee engagement as a business strategy yields more organic results. Highly engaged organizations share common practices and experience the following benefits:
1. Reduction in Absenteeism
Every organization is different, but absenteeism in the workplace is a common problem because it not only affects individuals, but it’s also seen as a management problem. Absenteeism is costly for a company and can spiral out of control if not addressed.
If you love what you do and where you do it, you probably won’t take days off for no reason or without consulting your manager first. You should trust your employer will give you time off when you need it. Absenteeism appears when employees are not satisfied or indifferent to their work and team, so they may take advantage of certain situations and leave work without much consideration.
To fight absenteeism you should look at the satisfaction, motivation and engagement of your staff. Improving employee engagement alone can bring up to 41% reduction in absenteeism; imagine the results you can achieve if you improve the overall employee experience in your organization.
2. Increase Productivity
One of the main characteristics of the engaged employee is their positive behavior towards the organization, as they are often the ones who believe strongly in the company’s mission and vision. This attitude makes people work harder and proactively to reach their goals, which leads to a 17% increase in productivity.
Engaged employees know that their work is appreciated and valued. They will spend less time chatting with colleagues or taking longer breaks and more time working. Higher productivity and efficiency are key benefits of employee engagement for employers.
3. Better Employee Safety
Employees who are willing to show up and are consistently engaged in the work environment have a greater commitment to quality and safety at work. When employees have the right mind set and are not distracted or stressed they can focus better, meaning they are less likely to make mistakes that can lead to work accidents.
Working in a stable and dependable workplace, engaged employees are proven to be more proactive, which results in 70% fewer safety incidents. So employers should ensure health and safety regulations are followed and up-to-date. This is just as important for factory workers as for office workers.
4. Lower Turnover
Just like a chain reaction, less absenteeism and higher productivity lead to motivated employees who are likely to stay in the organization longer. Engaged employees don’t look for new jobs – their positive experience in the organization leads to high satisfaction rates. . On the contrary, non-engaged or disengaged employees are constantly looking for new opportunities as their bond with the organization is not strong enough.
Depending on the overall turnover rate of an organization, business units with high employee engagement can achieve up to 59% lower turnover. This proves the importance of improving employee engagement and why it should be one of the main priorities for leaders and HR teams.
5. Higher Growth
Combining all the above, we can reach a tipping point that brings the organization closer to its customers. Increasing profitability isn’t just about selling more products. Engaged employees help organic growth by improving customer relationships, resulting in a 10% increase in customer ratings. This can allow the organization to observe a 20% increase in sales and a 21% increase in profitability.
This is the perfect example of how employee engagement can translate into growth and profitability for the organization. Happy staff means happy customers. And happy customers are loyal and more likely to give positive reviews and recommendations, that in return can bring new customers.
6. Better Customer Satisfaction
When employees are engaged this reflects in their attitude and how they deal with customers. Good service, making the customer feel valued and a smile go a long way in building a strong customer relationship. This equation also works between the company and its employees. Apply the same effort towards your employees and you will:
- Increase employee loyalty
- Strengthen their knowledge and expertise
- Receive valuable employee input
Satisfied employees are likely to make more up-sales and cross-sales, driving even higher returns on customer success management. In return, highly satisfied customers are a great PR machine as they’ll talk about what a great experience they had.
7. Better Network
Engaged employees are not afraid to exchange feedback and collaborate with each other and management to reach their goals. They know how to share information and work together as a team. Internal networking is as advantageous as external networking. Engaged employees can apply themselves to do an excellent job and are ready to take initiatives because they feel the support of their professional network.
Having a strong organizational network not only affects employees’ performance, but it creates a virtuous circle within the organization. When an employee has a bigger network of colleagues he is working with on a daily basis, usually his work gets more visibility and recognition. An engaged employee has the power to influence others by setting good examples and promoting connectivity in all its forms.
8. Encouraging advocacy
“I love my job.” Isn’t this what every employer wants to hear? Employees often talk about their work outside of the office and unfortunately negative feedback or complaints are easier to share. Whether employees’ words are positive or negative depends heavily on their experience in the organization. That’s why working on employee engagement is important if you want to encourage positive brand advocacy.
Employee advocacy is fantastic free publicity. It can lead to more loyal customers, quality job applications and ultimately higher revenues. It’s also one of the biggest benefits of employee engagement to employees themselves, since their advocacy can turn into official paid sponsorship if their network includes the right business audience. Stimulating and encouraging advocates with work benefits and recognition is a great way to say thank you for spreading the word.
9. Boosts Employee Positivity
Positive work environment is very important for employee engagement. Learn how to nurture the positive vibes and you will see how contagious it can be throughout the organization. Positivity affects employees:
- Attitude at work
- Confidence in the company and its future
- Job satisfaction
- Business relations within and out of the organization
But how do you know if your employees are really happy? One way to find out is to conduct an in-person employee interview in order to get more personal feedback. Combine this with a short yes/no intranet survey to collect more quantitative data and you will have a good base to build stronger relationships with employees. Collecting regular employee engagement statistics is invaluable to help you understand what makes employees happy (or unhappy) and where the company can improve.
10. Stimulates Innovation and Creativity
Encouraging employees to be innovative and share their ideas is another way to build an engaged workforce. Leverage specialists’ expertise by bringing them together to work and interact on common projects. Investing time on innovation gives employees a sense of belonging and accomplishment, which in return drives a much higher added value for the business.
This can be a way to save time and resources too, as employees may come up with an idea that’s just as good without resorting to external sources. An effective way to encourage employees to submit ideas could be through a competition on the intranet, or offering employees the opportunity to join an internal R&D team. Show creativity when approaching your employees and they will respond with the same amount of enthusiasm and creativity to any task you give them.
11. Builds morale
High morale builds employee loyalty. It demonstrates that employees are focused on their job and share the vision of the company. Boosting morale is not rocket science, you can just follow some genuine steps:
- Tell people when they do a good job
- Offer rewards (not just financial)
- Ask employees’ opinions and listen to their answers
- Provide relevant information and feedback
- Offer trainings to improve skills
- Offer a structured career path
Building employee morale means being the employer that’s different. Find a way to be the employer everyone wants to work for.
12. Leads to Mutual Respect
Respect reflects trust and works both ways. If managers value their staff and allow them to do their job without micromanaging each step they will earn their respect. Yet the employee should know they can ask as many questions as they need to without feeling uncomfortable.
Likewise, respect is essential for employees who work far from their direct managers, such as remote workers and frontline workers. An employer should trust the employee to get the job done in the required number of hours, taking time off if they need it. If an employee feels they have the necessary flexibility to do their work, they will be committed and engaged.
One final employee engagement secret
Encouraging employees to keep a good work-life balance shows you’re a caring employer. Don’t call them during weekends or when they’re taking vacation time. People need time to completely disconnect from work. And just because someone works from home doesn’t mean they should be on call 24/7. Respect people’s space and soon you’ll see improvement in employee engagement.
If you are still wondering about the benefits of employee engagement for your organization, we have prepared a short infographic that sums up everything you need to know:
To move towards a better and more engaged workforce, organizations need to focus on the human development of individuals and teams. Employee engagement is a core concern in their value-defining strategy that is worth the investment.