If you’re a manager or company owner, responsible for hiring, evaluating and developing people, you undoubtedly would like to see your organization on the list of “Best Places to Work”. A place on such a list might mean your employees are well treated, highly satisfied, and you’ll have the problem of an endless pool of applicants for vacant positions.
But, realistically, the payoff you’re truly looking for is productivity, not just a long line of candidates willing to join your ranks. For that, you’re going to need to focus not just on satisfaction, but employee engagement. Something that’s not just the domain of human resource professionals any more. It’s a fundamental dimension to the success of your company. Making the leap from satisfied to engaged employee makes the ultimate difference to your company’s operations.
What Is Employee Engagement?
According to Forbes: “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. When employees care—when they are engaged—they use discretionary effort.”
Engaged employees are not just happy to work for you – and getting what they need – engaged employees go the extra mile because they care enough to work towards your goals. The payoff comes from that extra effort.
How Does Engagement Affect Productivity – What Difference Does It Make?
Willis-Towers-Watson, in their Global Workforce Study, compared employee engagement in companies around the world, concluding that employee engagement was highly correlated to better operating metrics. Operating margins increased by close to 4% in organizations with high employee engagement, while it declined 2% in companies with low engagement.
Gallup regularly expands its on-going examination of employee engagement and productivity, revenue and profitability. With the evidence linking employee engagement to productivity becoming stronger every year. They’ve found that engaged employees are in overall better health, reporting lower incidences of chronic health problems. They eat healthier, exercise more frequently, and participate more often in employer-sponsored wellness programs. The result was a conclusion by Gallup that employee engagement is strongly connected to productivity, profitability, and also has implications for customer engagement. Their research noted that companies in the top quartile when it comes to employee engagement have 21 percent better productivity and 22 percent higher profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. The importance of employee engagement is crystal clear.
So, what does it look like on the inside? If you were to profile engaged employees, and how they operate within your company, you’d find that they …
- are absent less often and makes less use of health insurance resources
- achieve higher-quality outputs
- are 50 per cent more likely to exceed performance expectations
- generally, understand their roles better
- have higher levels of interest in advancing their careers inside the company, rather than by leaving
- are less disruptive and require less managerial and supervisory time
- recommend working at your company to others, helping recruit other more engaged employees
- are generally more innovative, contributing suggestions for efficiencies and customer satisfaction improvement
- consistently speak positively about the organization to co-workers, potential employees, and customers
- feel free to voice their opinion to management.
On the flip side, an organization with engaged employees enjoys better productivity by avoiding some of the following:
- employee performance and morale issues
- challenges in attracting qualified candidates and outsourced recruiting costs
- work-related accidents, health care claims and workers’ compensation costs
If Engagement Fuels Productivity, How do You Fuel Engagement?
We know that engaged leaders produce engaged employees.
We know that accessible managers breed engaged employees.
We know that employees who enjoy flexibility in their work schedules and locations feel a stronger sense of loyalty and commitment.
We know that companies which provide training and career advancement programs create a stronger feeling of loyalty and commitment within the organization.
And….we know that a reward and recognition program can be pivotal to engagement.
If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”
– Richard Branson
The tangible ways to achieve engagement can be the hard part. Reward systems are a huge influencer of engagement, but since the 1980s, experts have been telling us that workers are now looking for more than just money.
In a Bersin/Deloitte study of 834 organizations, recognition proved more important than researchers first thought. Researchers found that in organizations where recognition occurs, employee engagement is about 14 percent better than in those where recognition is lacking. And, you guessed it, productivity and customer service were also better.
In the lean operating environment of today, finding ways to recognize employees in an economical, non-traditional way, makes even more sense.
In order to standardize recognition, managers – and not just HR managers – need tools and systems to recognize that extra employee effort. A formal recognition program is a great tool to put in managers’ hands, and allows recognition to be given consistently.
A well-defined reward and recognition program allows employers to formally acknowledge length of service, performance achievements, or team contributions and to tie recognition and rewards directly to the behavior that has contributed to the success of the organization.
What Gets Recognized Gets Repeated.
Creating an awards and recognition program which allows managers to give positive feedback reinforces employee performance, and engagement. And a more engaged employee is one who is consistently working harder and smarter, with a focus not just on their own satisfaction, but the organization’s aims and success as well.
Learn more about ProformaSI and our Rewards and Recognition Programs which enhance employee engagement and drive business results. We deliver marketing programs via Online Company Stores. Increase efficiency, maintain control and cut costs. The best part is that you set it and forget it.
Looking for employee engagement ideas? Download our free ebook ’21 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement – without hurting the bottom line.
Kruse. (2012, June). Employee Engagement: What and Why. (Blog post). Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/06/22/employee-engagement-what-and-why/#24607ba04629
WillisTowersWatson. (2016). Perspectives: The Power of Three. Taking Engagement to New Heights.
Sorensen. (2013, June). How Employee Engagement Drives Growth. Gallup Business Journal. Retrieved from: http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/163130/employee-engagement-drives-growth.aspx
Bersin-Deloitte. (2012) WhatWorks: Turning Thank You into Performance. Retrieved from: https://www.bersin.com/News/Content.aspx?id=15543