Engaging Employees

We hear a lot about the benefits of employee engagement and the costs of an unengaged workforce. But what does employee engagement really look like?

Let’s begin by walking the halls of a company where employee engagement comes naturally. Some of the things you commonly see are informational meetings with employees to keep them updated about company progress. The CEO often stops by and informally engages employees in conversation, asking how their job is going, if there is anything that would make their job easier or more efficient, if they needed any additional training, etc. That information would magically make it back to the boss and the boss would see to the needs immediately. The CEO walks his talk as do the managers. This develops a high level of credibility between employees and management as well as employee loyalty.

Flex time, 4 day and even 3-day work week schedules are available for most employees – giving employees control over issues of work and family balance, which makes for very happy employees.

A lot of focus is placed on developing a career path for each employee and job rotations are commonplace. Goal setting, development plans, and individual coaching are supported at all levels in the organization and generous financial support provides employees that want to go back to school the opportunity to continue their education and the company works to find a schedule to accommodate their schooling.

Recognition is also highly prized in an engaged company. Employees receive regular feedback and positive feedback is as common as constructive feedback, which helps build confidence and inspires employees to excel and grow.

Sounds motion picture perfect, doesn’t it? Well, these are just some of the things you would see in a fully engaged workplace.

So now that we have the feel for what employee engagement is, what does the research tell us? According to a Gallup Poll, companies see the following benefits from employee engagement:

  • 86% higher customer/client ratings
  • 70% less turnover
  • 70% higher productivity
  • 44% higher profitability
  • 78% better safety records

Employees benefit from increased self-esteem and job success, greater job satisfaction, work-life balance, individual development and a career path not to mention the opportunity to be creative, contribute to something greater (the company good) and enjoy collaborative working relationships.

What was the best benefit of all to employee engagement? Companies with the highest levels of employee engagement received five times higher total shareholder returns over a period of five years.

Does employee engagement deliver benefits to the company and the employee? Absolutely. After all, if fictional employee engagement can sound so good, imagine how amazing the real thing will feel when implemented in your workplace. Start each day with the intent to engage employees and live that movie moment!

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