There’re a myriad of ways to address employee engagement- which begs the question, “How much emphasis should I put on it?”
The Business Dictionary defines employee engagement as the emotional connection an employee feels toward his or her employment organization, which tends to influence his or her behaviors and level of effort in work related activities. That seems a little bit complicated. The Society for Human Resource Management is able to clarify that as the means of creating a work environment that empowers employees to make decisions that affect their jobs– the key word there being empower. The core concept here is that the emotional tie an employee has to their job creates motivation and involvement.
A notable Gallup study about employee engagement worldwide revealed that 62% of Americans, who consider themselves engaged in the workplace, say they’re thriving. That amount is almost halved for the actively disengaged. There’s also a huge difference in those who consider themselves struggling: 61% of all disengaged say they are, while 64% of engaged employees say they’re not.
From management’s standpoint, the benefits of high engagement levels are multifold. Study after study shows that highly-engaged employees work harder, are absent less, have better relationships with clients, and stay with the company longer. And of course- all of those things lead to a better bottom line. So the clear and definite answer to the question is- yes! You’ll want to, and in fact need to, work hard at it.
So now you’re asking yourself, “How?” A good start would be to find out how your employees (current and exiting) feel about working at your company. An employee opinion survey and an exit survey would provide insight into the reasons for engagement and disengagement. Based on the results, you can see where your perceived weaknesses are and build an engagement plan with those in mind. In case you’ve been proactive and already have a plan in place, you’ll get actionable feedback on how it’s working and steps you can take to make it work even better.