Employee engagement is the level of commitment, passion, and loyalty a worker has toward their work and company. The more engaged an employee is, the more work they’ll put forth. (Kappel. 2018) This emotional commitment means that engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals. (Kruse. 2012)
A large component of maintaining satisfied and engaged employees is understanding and acting on their needs. According to the study, however 50 percent of the respondents said there’s no clear growth path in place for them, 30 percent indicated their opinions don’t count at work, and 27 percent said they feel there’s a general lack of concern and care for their wellbeing. (Jayaram. 2016)
Companies with stronger financial performances and better customer experience have employees who are considerably more engaged than their peers. Additionally, companies with 501 to 1,000 employees have the highest percentage of engaged employees, and companies with 10,000 or more employees have the lowest level of engagement. On an individual level, research shows that employees who are highly educated, high-income earners, executives, male, and have very good bosses tend to be the most highly engaged. (Temkin Group. 2016)
Engaged Employees lead to:
- Higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to…
- Higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…
- Increased sales (repeat business and referrals), which leads to…
- Higher levels of profit, which leads to…
- Higher shareholder returns i.e., stock price. (Kruse. 2012.)
Benefits of Engaged Employee
- Improved productivity. Companies often assume that if they pay employees enough, they’ll be more productive. But there’s more to it than that. Recent research suggests it isn’t money that drives productivity but happiness. In fact, happiness can boost productivity by as much as 12 percent. And engaged employees tend to fall into that camp.
- Lower turnover. There’s no denying that the grass will always be greener at another employer, as most of us have inflated expectations of the unknown. But engaged workers are 87 percent less likely to leave a company when compared to disengaged staff. If you want to minimize turnover, which will cost you an average of $15,000 per person, take another look at your engagement strategies.
- Fewer absences. People get sick — that’s just a fact of life. And yes, there will always be those staffers who suffer from mysterious “ailments” only between the hours of nine and five, but not engaged employees. They only take an average 3.9 sick days per year, while disengaged workers rack up nearly 11 missed days.
- Better reputation. One of the inevitable realities is that people talk — and technology has made it that much easier for people to talk to more than just their network. They can quite literally talk to everyone. What your employees say about your company will have a direct impact on your reputation. If they’re engaged and like where they’re working, it only stands to reason that they’ll only have good things to say.
- Greater customer satisfaction. It goes without saying that engaged employees are much more satisfied with their jobs. But did you know the correlation between engagement and satisfaction branches out into other business areas? Namely when it comes to customer service. Companies that excel in this area have nearly twice as many engaged workers.
- More money. Businesses with more engaged workers tend to see more profits. According to a study by Towers Perrin, companies with engaged staffers saw a 19-percent increase in operating income within just one year, while those with disengaged workers experienced a 33 percent decrease. If you want a profitable business, engage your workers. (Lane. 2018)
5 Ways To Encourage Employee Engagement
- Don’t Skip Onboarding and Training – Employees who can master their workload have a better chance at taking pride in what they do. With a successful onboarding and training program, employees will learn how to effectively do their job.
- Set Company Goals – To run a successful business, you need a business plan with a list of goals you want to accomplish. To engage employees, you need to involve them in reaching business goals.
- Acknowledge Employees – Your employee engagement management should emphasize acknowledging employees for their hard work.
- Focus On Employee Development – Employees want to develop their skills and continue challenging themselves. (They don’t want to do monotonous tasks that require minimal effort.) Engaged employees constantly use their mind and enhance their skills. You can focus on employee development in a few different ways. You might add new duties to the employee’s position to prevent boredom, allow room for growth in the position, or offer a job rotation program so employees do different tasks every so often. Another way you can emphasize employee development is by offering educational assistance. This is a great perk that lets employees further their education. It shows employees that you value their career growth, and it also allows you to add new skills to your business.
- Don’t Micromanage – Employees can’t be engaged if they don’t have freedom in how to do their jobs. Let each employee make decisions about how to accomplish their work. This leads to higher levels of engagement. (Kappel. 2018)
The Future of Engagement
As economies rebound from the global financial crisis, millions of employees are now thinking about their next career move. Improving job markets mean more scope for talented employees to choose where they work. To succeed, businesses must rethink how they engage and enable their people and earn the loyalty of their employees. This is a critical time to reshape employee engagement strategy and develop an innovative new talent management approach that responds to the changes happening around. (HAY Group)
Megatrends are lasting, deep-seated developments with far-reaching effects on societies, economies and organizations. The megatrends are fundamentally changing how we work, what we care about in the workplace and what we need from our employers. (HAY Group)
6 powerful ‘megatrends’ that are transforming societies and the global business environment as we know it:
- Globalization 2.0
Economic power is shifting from West to East, giving rise to a new global middle class. Under globalization 2.0 the talent market has gone global, with established corporations now having to battle with new competitors for valuable skills. This will force organizations to think creatively about how to attract, engage and retain talent across the world. Engagement strategies and plans must have the flexibility for local teams to adapt them to local cultures, priorities and talent markets.
- The Environmental Crisis
The environment is becoming more and more important to people, as climate change gathers pace and natural resources grow scarce. Businesses must respond to the demand for sustainability to maintain their workforces’ engagement and commitment. Failure to do so will put them at a disadvantage.
- Demographic Change
Aging populations are reshaping the global workforce and exacerbating the war for talent. For businesses, an ageing population means a growing skills shortage. With the baby-boom generation hitting retirement age, experienced talent will be at a premium. This will put pressure on younger workers to quickly become mature and skilled leaders. The skills shortage will make attracting and retaining talent more critical than ever. Organizations will need to foster a culture and conditions that motivates and enables staff of all ages and cultures to perform. Younger employees (Gen Y’ers and Millennials) focus on the future. They want opportunities to progress, to build and test their skills in as many areas as possible and regular and constructive feedback on performance.
Growing freedom of choice is eroding loyalty and transforming workplace motivation. Globalization 2.0 will boost the wealth of consumers in emerging markets, and consequently their freedom to choose. This will transform our motives as consumers and employees. Money will no longer be the main influence on life and career decisions. Other priorities will come into play, such as fulfilment, meaning, self-development, recognition and work-life balance. A single message to the workforce will no longer cut it. People will demand to be treated as individuals. Engagement will need to be more personal, tapping into each employee’s needs, drivers, outlook and expectations. Job descriptions, appraisals, development plans, career paths and reward systems will need to be more tailored.
Work and the workplace are going remote, and the boundaries between professional and personal life are blurring, as people are increasingly operating online. Digital technology is reversing the balance of power between employers and employees. Sustaining engagement through a culture of trust and ethical standards is essential. It will help discourage employees from exposing sensitive information, and from moving to competitor firms. Digital technology can boost productivity and engagement. It enables organizations to understand far more about employees’ attitudes, needs and preferences, and to tailor their practices to boost engagement. Rapid changes in technology can also quickly leave people’s skills out of date. Continuous learning will be essential to sustain engagement and productivity.
- Technological Convergence
Powerful shifts in technology are transforming everyday life and creating new product markets. Life is about to get considerably more advanced. A combination of NBIC (nano, bio, information and cognitive) sciences will lead to a wave of technological breakthroughs. This will transform many areas of our everyday lives, giving rise to new product markets and leaving others behind. Employees can be nervous about change and feel insecure or demotivated when the goalposts are continuously moving. Their need for information outstrips what management can provide, damaging confidence in the leadership and direction of the firm. And as convergence gathers pace, it will be harder than ever to stay ahead of the innovation curve and to make long term investment decisions. Communicating ‘what’s next’ will become increasingly difficult. Companies will need to establish the right climate, processes and platforms for collaboration to succeed, and equip people with the right skills and attributes. (HAY Group)
Gomez-Mejia, L.R., Balkin, D.B. and Cardy, R.L. 2016. Managing Human Resources. Global Edition 8/E. Pearson. London. ISBN-10: 1292097248 • ISBN-13: 9781292097244.
Kevin Kruse. 2012. What Is Employee Engagement. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/06/22/employee-engagement-what-and-why/#363c5d957f37/ Accessed on 20.02.2019
Mike Kappel. 2018. How To Establish A Culture Of Employee Engagement. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2018/01/04/how-to-establish-a-culture-of-employee-engagement/#7c3c65368dc4/ Accessed on 20.02.2019
HAY Group. New Rules of Engagement. http://f.datasrvr.com/fr1/414/25154/Hay_Group_New_Rules_of_Engagement_Report.pdf/ Accessed on 20.02.2019
Savita V Jayaram. 2016. Employee Engagement Tactics to Empower and Motivate Talented Workforce. http://www.hrinasia.com/employee-relations/employee-engagement-tactics-to-empower-and-motivate-talented-workforce/ Accessed on 20.02.2019
Temkin Group. 2016. Employee Engagement Benchmark Study. https://temkingroup.com/product/employee-engagement-benchmark-study-2016/ Accessed on 20.02.2019
Figure 1. Stacey Lane. 2018. What Is Employee Engagement? And Why It Matters to Business. http://prostaff.com/blog/employee-engagement-trends/ Accessed on 20.02.2019
Figure 2. Savita V Jayaram. 2016. Employee Engagement Tactics to Empower and Motivate Talented Workforce. http://www.hrinasia.com/employee-relations/employee-engagement-tactics-to-empower-and-motivate-talented-workforce/ Accessed on 20.02.2019
Figure 3. Sarah K. White. 2016. 5 hard truths about employee engagement. https://www.cio.com/article/3065617/cio-role/5-hard-truths-about-employee-engagement.html/ Accessed on 20.02.2019
Figure 4. ETS. 2019. Beyond employee engagement: Time to focus on the employee experience. https://www.etsplc.com/blog/beyond-employee-engagement-time-to-focus-on-the-employee-experience/ Accessed on 20.02.2019