Engaged employees perform better at their job, feel connected to the organisation, work harder, stay longer and motivate those around them to do the same.
From every aspect of your organisation, employee engagement can have a major impact, from revenue and profit, to customer satisfaction and even safety in the workplace. Being engaged in our work is something that we all want to experience at some point in our career if not, throughout all of our career.
Importantly, employee engagement can drastically affect productivity and more engaged teams have been shown to improve productivity by 17%.
In this guide you will learn more about employee engagement, how to measure it, the benefits and how it can increase productivity.
What is employee engagement?
As defined by Gallup in 2017, employee engagement is when an employee is “highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace.” The same research group discovered that low engagement was a global issue for businesses of all sizes measuring that only 15% of employees were engaged with the business.
You can also consider employee engagement to be a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organisation to give of their best each day. That they are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being. It is an emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals.
What employee engagement is not is neither job satisfaction nor happiness. Engagement is more about how an employee feels personally invested in the organisation’s success and how they feel toward the work they do, their teams, and their organisation.
Employee engagement is based on 9 factors, these include:
- Value and purpose
- Wealth and wellness
- Well-defined roles
- Recognition and incentives
- Buy-in from managers
- Personal growth and development
Aside from engaged employees performing better and in return, helping the organisation to hit its goals and objectives in timelines that are set, an engaged employee is more driven and excited about their work - which means they give more and get more from their roles. For example, an engaged engineer is more likely to to happily work late when required to do so. An engaged office administrator is more likely to go beyond the basic requirements of their role to help the business, their teams or their boss to get the results that they need to succeed.
Another example could be an engaged account executive will spend time after hours learning new skills which will help them to develop and help the organisation count on them when the time comes for growth in the team or department. An engaged accountant may decide to learn more about specific tax laws, such as for landlords, real estate owners and corporates to help the organisation and their clients have a better understanding of what they need to be more fiscally responsible.
How to measure employee engagement
Of course, before going about trying to better engage your teams, a good starting point would be to know how to measure engagement. By doing so, you are going to have a better understanding of how to improve employee engagement. The main purpose of an employee engagement survey is to understand what is driving engagement in the organisation and what are the things that could potentially stop it as well.
Organisations should take the steps to measure employee engagement to help provide insight into what your employees think your organisation does well and areas to improve.
There are three principle ways you can measure employee engagement and along with other forms of employee feedback (e.g. one-to-one sessions) you can get a rounded view to see where employees are at in terms of their engagement with the organisation and their role and discover what can be done to make things better for the organisation when it comes to motivating staff.
The first measurement tool is an employee engagement survey. This allows all employees to submit feedback anonymously, allowing frustrated or uninspired team members to express their real opinions. These surveys should include questions that are scientifically backed and proven to measure employee engagement.
The second tool that can be used is a pulse survey. These are short surveys that are related to a company’s engagement goals - alongside more detailed questions. Pulse surveys are a great way to measure anything across an organisation at any time which is why they are a useful tool for employee engagement measurements. They can be taken on the day or a few weeks after a major or minor change in the organisation making them a powerful tool for HR departments to help measure the current state of the organisation and the people working in them.
The final tool is an employee lifecycle survey. These allow you to collect feedback from employees during key moments in their tenure at your organisation. This can include a new starter survey, a stay survey and an exit survey. Over these three surveys, HR managers and line managers can get an idea of the employee engagement level and what can be done to help or change the situation.
Benefits of employee engagement
Employee engagement is a powerful tool that can be used to massively aid an organisation, and organisations with engaged employees consistently outperform their competitors. Some statistics show just how important employee engagement is to business success:
- Business teams with highly engaged employees have a 59% lower turnover rate than those with less engaged staff.
- Highly engaged teams are 17% more productive.
- Businesses with highly engaged workers have a 6% higher profit margin.
- Engaged employee teams experience 10% higher customer reviews.
One of the most important things that gets overlooked with highly engaged employees is just how it can affect staff turnover. In fact, a better engaged workforce is more more like to remain, and therefore, the business has a constant group of employees working towards goals which are clearly established and achievable by everyone.
Highly engaged employees are less likely to leave their place of work and seek alternative employment - because:
- They know they are recognised and appreciated where they are.
- Opportunities for growth and career development exist where they are.
- They are always made aware of organisational changes and why they are taking place.
- They feel engaged in the overall success of the business.
- Workplaces who report high employee engagement have 41% less staff absenteeism.
- Engaged employees are less likely to be obese, less likely to suffer from chronic disease, more likely to eat healthier, and more likely to exercise.
- Research has shown that 70% fewer safety incidents occur in highly engaged workplaces.
How does employee engagement increase productivity
Good employee engagement has been shown to be beneficial to both the employee and the organisation, but as we have already touched upon, the benefits to productivity are also a great reason to invest in better employee engagement strategies.
Studies have shown that highly engaged teams have been found to be 17% more productive. So it’s a good idea to look at engagement as a strategy for employees, business success and the productivity of the organisation.
Employee productivity looks at the efficiency of a worker or workforce. Analysing the output of their activities against their working hours. If an employee or workforce has a high productivity rate, it would be permissible to assume that they assist in the increased profitability of the company.
A person's productivity is the amount of work they can do in a given amount of time. Whilst it's a simple measurement, the factors that influence it are varied and complex – everything from the tools people use to how their organisation builds an environment that breeds success.
Employees who have good quality jobs and are managed well, will not only be happier, healthier and more fulfilled, but are also more likely to drive productivity.
Some organisations may decide that one of the best ways to improve productivity is to simply reward employees but, when used in isolation the impact is limited. This is why implementing an engagement strategy considers the varying needs of the people involved and offers a far greater potential to not only improve productivity but to create efficiencies within the business on a wider scale.
A good place to start the engagement process is to ensure that all of your employees are aware of the core values that your organisation has or has developed over the years. These are things that should explain what truly matters to your team and the ideals that you want your organisation and its people to uphold.
Employee engagement is an approach within an organisation, which seeks to:
- Motivate employees to stay committed to their organisational objectives
- Not only encourages them do their job well, but to do their very best
- Encourage employees to show up to work and actually do more work
- Lower absenteeism and turnover by showing faith and trust in their employees abilities.
We’ve come to understand that engaged employees perform better at their job, feel connected to the organisation and manage to make those around them work better, stay longer and seriously impact on the bottom line of the organisation. We have also come to learn that being able to measure how engaged employees are, and understanding that making changes are essential to help increase productivity among employees.
Thomas Engage can help your staff and managers can rapidly pinpoint the issues that contribute to under performance and keep performers focused.
Alternatively, find out more about our tools and solutions by speaking to one of our team.