Updated: Aug 18
Employee engagement is the enthusiasm and attachment of employees to their work. It means that employees are both rationally and emotionally committed to a company. A Gallup survey of 1.4 million workers found that employee engagement increases productivity by 22%. An Emerald article states that the most important factors in employee engagement are the work environment, the team and the relationship with colleagues.
Although there is no single definition of employee engagement, it reflects an employee's deep commitment, sincere attachment and positive attitude toward the company and work. Companies around the world are increasingly focusing on employee engagement strategies to increase revenue, customer satisfaction and productivity.
Why is employee engagement so important?
In today's modern world, every company wants to beat its competitors and increase productivity to secure the lion's share of the global market. Employees play a crucial role in creating and maintaining the value of a company. A company needs to retain its employees and increase productivity to be successful in the long run. For a sustainable business model, a company should first and foremost ensure that its employees are satisfied and engaged.
Employee engagement often leads to higher employee satisfaction. Employees who are passionate about their work and committed to the well-being of the company are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs than those who are killing time and have no sense of belonging. Even though employee engagement is so important, a Gallup poll shows that the percentage of engaged employees will be only 39% in 2021 and 36% in 2020. So what is the cause of low employee engagement in America? One reason could be a lack of attention from managers and their inability to thoroughly communicate the company's mission and vision. Human Resource managers now view employee engagement as a strategic business objective to achieve high productivity, lower turnover and better quality of work.
Some of the key implications of increased engagement could include the following;
Higher productivity and profits.
While employee engagement may not solve all workplace problems, it does bring some significant benefits, including employee productivity, which is arguably the most important benefit of employee engagement. True peak performance is achieved with the help of engaged and productive employees. Productive employees get more work done, which leads to higher profitability and better goal achievement.
Improved employee health.
Because employee engagement leads to higher productivity, employees can get more work done in less time. As a result, employees are able to recover in their free time. They work with more focus and can concentrate fully on their work, which leads to better employee health.
Retaining your employees, especially top performers, over the long term is a critical factor in your company's future viability in the marketplace. The more engaged employees are at work and contribute to higher productivity, the more they feel connected and stay longer. Employees who are not engaged often do not feel a sense of belonging and do not have a sense of accomplishment due to poor performance, so they are more likely to leave.
Engaged employees do their best to contribute to the company's success without taking unnecessary leave because they have a stronger emotional connection to their company and its well-being. These employees enjoy their work and develop professionally while maintaining their work-life balance.
How to measure employee engagement.
A traditional method used by HR managers is to conduct regular employee engagement surveys, such as monthly or quarterly. This is a good way to get direct feedback from employees and supervisors. There are also some third-party tools that allow you to compare your data with that of other companies or the general labor market.
Review the data
Data such as profitability, customer reviews, safety incidents and reduced absenteeism can help you determine the level of employee engagement in your organization. Not only do they provide insight into overall employee productivity, but also employee engagement and individual job performance.
Direct feedback from employees.
You can solicit feedback from your employees to determine their engagement. Feedback is considered the most traditional method of measuring employee engagement because it is often subjective and varies depending on the situation and interaction with other team members.
How to improve employee engagement
The secret to an engaged workforce is recognizing that one strategy may not work for all employees. Before you launch an employee engagement initiative, you need to look at the big picture. Here are some valuable tips on how to increase employee engagement at your company.
You can not discount the importance of effective internal communication with your employees. Have you ever noticed what your top performers have that others do not? In most cases, you'll find that you have been communicating with these employees about your company's goals and vision for the future from the beginning. Open communication helps build employee trust and informs them of your expectations. The best way to do this is to talk face-to-face with the employees you expect to perform well and discuss new ideas.
Have an adequate performance management system in place.
To address the engagement problem in your organization, you need to establish a performance management system for your employees. The PM system you develop will model for your employees what high performance looks like for your company and how they will be rewarded for their hard work and outstanding results. It is extremely important to recognize the high performance of your employees, and it should be based on the simple rule that everything you measure with these systems must be done.
You should set a set of goals for your employees that are reasonable. Supervisors need to reward good performance and address poor performance as quickly as possible to ensure the sustainable growth of your business.
If you want high-performing employees on your team, you need to realize that you can not force your employees to perform to their full potential. All you can do is provide them with a work-ready environment that gives them the motivation they need to perform at their best. Focus your energy on the needs of employees to create a workplace where they can use all their knowledge for the good of your company.
When you focus more on nurturing your employees' careers, mentoring them and guiding them every step of the way, you give them a sense of a caring work environment that will ultimately help them become more engaged and motivated. Monitor their progress and offer development programs if they lack certain skills. Ensure a good work-life balance, as this is crucial for employee well-being.
Research shows that employees who have enough free time to balance their personal lives with work are happier, more productive and more likely to stay with the company longer. As a manager, you can conduct workshops on stress management and resilience in difficult situations.
In addition, you can achieve your goals by hiring employees whose skills, values and culture fit your organization. The employees who find their tasks challenging are always more productive than others.
Unique approach at Hyatt
This hotel chain has been in business for a long time and has survived thanks to a unique approach to service industry standards. According to Mark Hoplamazian, Hyatt's CEO, the key to their success is how they treat their customers and their experiences. They design their experiences at Hyatt to be fulfilling for them.
Hyatt employees have the freedom to approach customers in a way that suits their personality, rather than reading off a predetermined script. This helps employees get excited about guests and connect with them.
How Starbucks engages its employees
Starbucks is one of the largest coffee chains in the world. The company's strategy of making employees partners with the company by offering them shares in the market is a great way to engage employees. Employees feel that they are valued in the company. The company has implemented employee-friendly policies, such as tuition programs that allow employees to continue their studies online.
Starbucks has taken this initiative to encourage employee engagement. The result is happier and more hardworking employees who remain loyal to the company. They are motivated to perform well in their jobs and help the company succeed.
Research shows that 89% of employers believe the main reason an employee quits is a poor salary, but only 12% of employees say they leave because of salary issues. Employees leave a company because they do not feel engaged at work, are not motivated, and cannot contribute to productivity.
The priority of HR managers should be to determine employee engagement levels and then implement strategies to build a workforce that is motivated and committed to the productivity and long-term success of your business.