Improving employee engagement


Employee engagement entails more than ensuring employees are happy while on the job. Engaged employees possess an emotional commitment to the organization and its goals. These employees show passion for their individual work and the company as a whole. Engaged employees are innovative and will push business forward.

The engagement level of your employees has a direct impact on the success of your organization. Research has shown a positive correlation between engaged employees and sales, safety, retention rates, sales, and profit.

Studies have shown that companies with high rates of employees engagement have twice the customer loyalty rates than their competitors. A Gallup study of 23,910 organizations found the top quartile of these businesses averaged 12 percent higher profitability than the bottom quartile. A study by Kenexa showed those with engaged employees achieved twice the annual net income than their counterparts.

According to research conducted by Development Dimensions International, a Fortune 100 manufacturing company reduced quality errors from more than 5,000 parts per millions to just 52 when the company increased employee engagement.

Another study found companies with high rates of engaged employees are less likely to have safety incidents, and the Gallup study found the bottom quartile to have 62 percent more workplace accidents. Engaged employees also attend work more frequently averaging 2.69 sick days annually while others average 6.19.

Employee retention increases with engagement rates. The Gallup study found the bottom quartile to have an average of 31-51% higher turnover rates than the top quartile. The Gallup study discovered that 30 percent of American employees are engaged while at work and 54 percent would recommend their company to others. Of those 30 percent, 66 percent have no intention to leave their company and only 3% are actively seeking employment elsewhere. On the contrary, 30 percent of employees who aren't engaged are looking to leave their current organization.

Organizations across the board are aware of the importance of employee engagement. Nearly 80 percent of polled organizations believe their employees are overwhelmed at work and 21 percent view this as an urgent problem, but only 8 percent have plans to address it. Increasing employee engagement begins by obtaining relevant employee feedback, and proper selection of managers is crucial. Leaders understand their personal success and that of the company rely on employee achievement. Care about employee success should be shown and opportunities provided to utilize individual strengths. Employee opinions and ideas should be sought and frequently discussed in meetings.

Meaningful work increases employee engagement. Give employees autonomy on the job with small, empowered teams. Also, have a hands-on management policy with clear goals and an investment in leadership development. A positive work environment is essential. Institute a humanistic work plan, develop a culture of recognition and allow for a flexible environment. Employees are more likely to be engaged when they have opportunities for growth on the job. Companies should provide ample training and self-directed dynamic learning opportunities. Trust in leadership and a focus on simplicity is key. The company mission and purpose should be clearly defined and continued investment in employees should be made. Finally, the No. 1 factor driving these rates is operating an organization people truly want to work for.


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