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What is Employee Engagement?

While employee engagement is important, it is beneficial to understand what employee engagement is.  Employee engagement can mean different things to different people and companies.  In large, multi-national organizations, employee engagement can simply mean employees who are committed to their work and the company purpose and value.  In smaller companies, employee engagement can mean employees taking an active, direct role in decision making and being engaged with the decision makers.

To sum it up, employee engagement is where the employees of a company feel a sense of duty, loyalty, and pride in the vision, work, and goals of the company.  This engagement can be seen either through daily work and tasks or a more direct, intimate solution of providing actionable feedback to upper management.

Employee engagement is oftentimes a buzzword that is used by upper management to corral employees to complete a certain task or project.  However, employee engagement should occur naturally.  It should be innate within the company and not feel forced.

Attempts to increase employee engagement often come too late, with too little attention.  In addition, many times, these initiatives do not take into account the feelings, wants, or needs of their subject, the employee.  When looking to increase employee engagement, management should always liaise with the employees and see what is really needed.

Employee engagement is important because it has been proven to reduce turnover, increase retention rates, and leads to improved efficiency and productivity.  Though not simple to implement, when it is implemented correctly, it can have long-lasting effects and reverberate throughout the entire company and organization.

 

Employees who are engaged with their company are committed to their jobs and the vision of the company.  Though they appreciate the paycheck, they truly believe in the company and are fully invested in its growth and success.  These employees are the champions of the company, they speak highly of it on social media and to their friends and they defend the actions of the company.

6 Reasons Why Employee Engagement Is Important

Employee Retention Rates

Employees who are engaged with a company and truly believe in its mission and purpose will remain with the company.  They will look to help the company internally and move up-the-ranks.  These employees will understand all the bits-and-pieces of a company and can help ensure that everything is managed and completed correctly.

In addition, higher employee retention rates increase overall revenue and profit.  Hiring new employees is expensive.  The search process can be difficult and takes nearly 52-days to complete. From there, the process of training and ensuring no mistakes are made can be a major opportunity cost.

Whereas, an employee that has been with the company several years doesn’t need any training on how to complete their job.  They’ll typically be well-versed in the role and the responsibilities expected of them that they may even bring in more revenue due to their ability to deliver on promises to clients.

Employee Productivity

When an employee cares about their role, really, truly cares about it, they are more likely to be productive and efficient in that role.  Engaged employees feel an investment in the company.  They feel an emotional connection to the company.  When they go in to work, they are not just there for a paycheck, but to help the company succeed.

An engaged employee is an advocate for the company and they will produce work that is excellent and a good reflection of the company.  A recent study by Gallup shows that engaged employees had 21% greater productivity then their less-engaged counterparts.

Engaged Employees Bring in More Money

Engaged employees help the company to bring in additional revenue and profit.  On average, having 9.3 engaged employees for every disengaged employee led to an increase in earnings per share (EPS) of 147%.

Similarly, with a company with just 2.6 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee, they experienced a 2% lower earnings per share in the same period. (Source)

Essentially, having an engaged employee base can help your company earn more and rebound faster after a recession.  In that vein, have disengaged employees could be hurtful, in that they simply do not care about the company or its success.  These disengaged individuals may actually actively work against the values and success of the company.

Engaged Employees Means Happier Customers

Having your happiest and most engaged employees deal and interact with customers will ensure that those customers receive the absolute best service.  Let’s face it, a happy, engaged employee will have an infectious attitude with customers, ensuring that they are happy and pleased with the service.

Per Gallup, departments in the top quartile of employee engagement outperformed bottom quartile departments by 10% on customer ratings.  This shows that when you put your most engaged, enthusiastic employees to serve and engage with your customers, that those customers will have a better, more positive experience.

Engagement Means an Employee is Heard

Engaged employees are engaged not necessarily due to the success of the company or the business or the department, but they are engaged because they feel heard and cared about.  They feel that the work they do is important and that the company they work for cares about their health and wellbeing.  And that, that care extends past working hours.

In a way, employee engagement is a circular loop.  By presenting employee engagement initiatives, you begin to develop engaged employees.  And by continuing to work on employee engagement, you continue to increase the feeling of those already engaged employees.

Engaged Employees Push Company Culture

Engaged employees push company culture and how the company wishes its internal culture to be.  By providing an environment where engaged employees can thrive, the company ensures that the culture that develops can be one that is inclusive and non-biased.

In addition, engaged employees will more likely push the official vision of the company and the culture that the company wishes to pursue.  They will adopt the company culture and ensure that their specific team and department does the same.

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