Before explaining the benefits of employee engagement, a quick recap on what employee engagement means. It refers to the emotional attachment employees have with their organisation. According to a dictionary, it is the “emotional connection an employee feels towards his or her organization, which tends to influence his or her behaviors and level of effort in work-related activities.”
But why is it important? Why should you make your employees engaged?
The Benefits of Employee Engagement
Below mentioned are some benefits of employee engagement that are effective and actually work.
Engaged employees = Increased Productivity.
A study by Gallup revealed that connected teams are 21% more productive. Like all other companies, making employees productive must be your end goal too. So, engaging employees can be your first step to creating a productive workforce.
Engaged employees like what they do and find their work meaningful. An engaged workforce will work harder, faster and with much more enthusiasm. Moreover, Gallup’s report for the American workplace shows some interesting results. Satisfied employees are 40% more productive than dissatisfied employees. And, engaged employees are 44% more productive than satisfied employees.
Improves Retention Rates
A research by Gallup in 2017 showed that 51% of employees are planning to leave their current jobs. Some reasons are lack of recognition, internal conflicts, lack of pay raise.
Employees join a company with expectations and desires. And when you fail to provide those, they start looking for better options. Therefore, engaging employees helps reduce the cost of turnover and improves retention.
*Related article: 20 Effective Employee Retention Strategies
Engaging your employees will increase your revenue. Aon’s 2018 global engagement report shows interesting results. It shows that every 5 point increase in engagement level leads to a 3% increase in revenue.
When employees feel engaged, they naturally go the extra mile to achieve. They finish their work faster and their capacity to finish tasks also increases. Higher engagement levels increases a company’s revenue. Exactly two and a half times more than a company with lower engagement levels.
Happy Employees, Happier Customers
In the words of the great Richard Branson,
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
To improve your customer service, increase your engagement level. Engaged employees take less leaves, are more attentive and friendly. All the things required for building good customer relationships. Such employees also great advocates and always put the company’s best face forward.
A couple of absences are appropriate- sickness, unforeseen events. But repeated absences can be a result of dissatisfaction and disengagement. Increased absences hamper the productivity and performance of the employee. This in turn affects the company’s bottom line.
Makes them Loyal
A long term benefit of keeping employees engaged is that it makes them loyal.
Kyle LaMalfa, Loyalty Expert and Allegiance Best Practices Manager, says that employee engagement is the most important component of loyalty. As per the definition, engaged employees are emotionally attached to the organisation. And when they will be emotionally attached, they’ll naturally be loyal. Well, just engaging them won’t make them loyal to you. Appreciation, autonomy, decentralized power distribution are some ways to earn their loyalty.
Better Quality of work
Employees who feel engaged always put in their best while doing something. These employees are much more motivated than others. They do each task with the same amount of dedication and precision.
Since they enjoy their job, they’re much more efficient in their work. They constantly come up with new ideas, learn from mentors, work in teams. Furthermore, they work to up skill by taking courses, attending seminars and such.
Employees Work Harder
These employees work harder than others. They are better focused at work and feel connected to their work environment. Moreover, research by Dale Carnegie also shows that engaged employees outperform others by 202%.
When employees don’t feel connected, it’s unlikely they would wish to put in efforts. Connected or engaged employees clock in for longer hours, get their work done on time.
Highly engaged employees bring spirit and energy to the workplace. Their motivation and drive to succeed doesn’t take long to catch up with others. Such employees motivate others to achieve their tasks. Such employees are a lot more active to take up tasks and participate in activities.
These employees are poles apart from actively disengaged employees. Actively disengaged employees work actively to deteriorate the work environment. But engaged employees work towards building the company’s culture.
Employees are Innovative
These zealous employees are at their best when engaged. They continuously come up with new, dynamic ideas which can help build the company’s image. Since they are so involved with their work, they are always finding new ways to make work interesting.
In fact 78% of employees whose companies encourage them to be innovative and creative are more loyal to their organisation. It gives them the autonomy to make decisions and be creative with their work.
Drives Employee Advocacy
A major benefit of employee engagement is that they naturally become company advocates. They feel a sense of pride to be a part of the organisation. Therefore, they actively promote the brand. They talk about the products and brands to their family and friends.
Moreover, a person is more likely to buy a product or take up a course when their friends tell them about it. And with the influence of social media on the present generation, now is the perfect time to make employees your advocates. Give them the reason to feel pride for associating with your company.
Employees Offer Positive Suggestions
These are employees who are genuinely concerned about the organisation.
They take active participation in company meetings to understand more about the company. They involve themselves with the company. In addition to that, they offer suggestions to advance the company’s growth.
We all know that hiring new employees costs time and money. A study by Deloitte says “the cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars, to 1.5-2x their annual salary.”
This works in two ways. When employees leave a company, the cost of hiring and training a new employee is high. Another situation is when an existing employee does his work halfheartedly but still takes the fat paycheck.
Engagement levels increase when employees are intrinsically motivated.
Some employees don’t work for a hefty paycheck. They do it because they enjoy their work. Their work fulfills them internally. It aligns with their beliefs and aspirations. Therefore, engaged employees are mostly intrinsically motivated. They share an emotional connection with their work.
Related article: 25 Engagement Ideas to Reinvent Your Workforce