Virtually all human resources professionals understand that boosting employee engagement is important. However, evidence indicates they don’t actually succeed in achieving this goal. Gallup polls regularly confirm engagement levels remain dismal across all industries, with an overwhelming 87 percent of employees noting they are not engaged.
Perhaps the reason many may not have worked to improve it yet could simply be that they haven’t been told precisely why it’s so important.
The following points will put the topic in perspective. When you’re equipped to explain the value of engagement, you’re more prepared to coordinate with management to boost it.
Gaining an Edge
While polls and surveys indicate the vast majority of workers are not engaged, it doesn’t necessarily spell doom for your company. It is possible to see this as a chance to give your organization an advantage over the competition. If you take steps to boost engagement among your employees, it will yield major benefits, such as increased employee satisfaction and loyalty, less absenteeism, and higher productivity—all of which serve to give your company an edge over the competition.
Employee turnover is costly. The expenses involved in finding someone to replace a former employee are already high, and that’s not accounting for the costs associated with factors such as reduced productivity. As such, it’s almost impossible to determine exactly how much money a company loses when an employee leaves.
This is another practical reason to focus on boosting engagement. High engagement rates correlate with high retention. The time and effort you invest in developing engagement strategies will pay off substantially in the long run.
Organizations with engaged employees don’t merely reduce expenses; there’s also good reason to believe they are more profitable.
That’s because engaged employees tend to be more productive. Most importantly, they’re able to sustain a certain degree of productivity over a long period of time. An employee who works very hard for a few months, only to burn out, is far less valuable than one who is able to remain committed and enthusiastic for years.
Cultivating a Brand
Engaged workers are also more likely than others to speak highly of their employers outside of work. This can offer companies two major benefits.
First, it helps them attract talented applicants for open positions. People want to work for companies where employees enjoy their jobs. Workers who sing the praises of their organization contribute to its positive reputation among job seekers.
Second, it attracts more customers. If an engaged employee has good things to say about the company they work for, friends and family will leave with a positive impression of the overall brand.
Some of the benefits high engagement rates offer may not be as obvious as others. For instance, studies show that companies which report higher levels of engagement also report fewer safety and product-quality incidents than organizations where employees are not engaged. This reduces costs, improves branding, and boosts overall employee wellness.
This outcome makes sense when you stop to think about it. Engaged workers pay more attention to their tasks. Thus, they’re not likely to overlook factors that could result in safety issues or product defects.
Fueling the Cycle
Implementing employee engagement solutions is a uniquely beneficial task, as research indicates that cultivating a high engagement rate tends to yield a cycle in which engagement continues to improve naturally.
Workers who are engaged with their roles value the overall success of the company. They communicate positively with others and help to cultivate engagement among their coworkers. Once you implement your original plan, it can take on a life of its own. Enthusiasm among employees is simply contagious.
No organization is perfect. HR’s role often involves identifying ways the business can improve, particularly in regard to how it treats employees.
That doesn’t mean it’s always easy for HR pros to identify areas where improvement is necessary. Gathering feedback from workers helps them better understand where changes need to be made.
That said, it’s easier to gather genuine feedback from engaged employees than from disengaged. Because engaged employees are invested in the overall health of the company, they’ll be eager to suggest ways the organization can improve, while disengaged workers typically don’t care enough about the company to share these insights.
Although you may already know how important engagement is, boosting it usually requires working with managers from other departments. Referencing points such as those above will help you to illustrate to management why it is worth their time to focus on engagement. When they’re willing to do so, the company will reduce costs, make more money, and cultivate a positive reputation among both consumers and potential job candidates.