Many recent surveys and studies have revealed that a lack of employee engagement is the number one concern of CEO’s and HR leaders. But what is engagement and how do you improve it? Does improving engagement change attitudes and behavior and increase retention and productivity?
Lets begin by defining employee engagement. Simply put engagement is when human performance is maximized to increase production and profitability. This definition feels a bit sterile, but the fact is when your employees are fully committed to the organization’s goals and core values while being motivated intrinsically, the net result is improved performance and success. This will ultimately contribute to an enhance sense of employees well-being.
Gallup conducted a poll recently and found that 32.6% of employees are unengaged. Unengaged employees are creating a huge drag on the US economy to the tune of $350 billion per year according to the US Department of Labor and Statistics. 80% of HR pros say that employee engagement is a major area of focus.
There are a few ways to determine if you have an engagement issue. One way to measure is to calculate your revenue per employee. Divide your company’s annual revenue by the number of employees.
Total revenue/# of employees = revenue per employee
5,000,00.00/50 employees = $100,00.00 per employee
Go back over a minimum of three years to measure and graph. The further back you go, the better. One thing to consider is not just the trend, but is the amount of revenue per employee being maximized?
Another way to measure engagement is to look at your turnover and absenteeism rates. These important metrics are a strong indicator as well. What’s the trend?
A simple test is the eye test. Engaged employees wear it on their face. They have positive attitudes, are enthusiastic and enjoy their work. They communicate freely and feel trusted and respected. They respect their coworkers and freely collaborate. They have specific goals and are committed to the organization’s success.
Now that you know what a fully engaged employee looks like, how do you fix it and what’s the benefit?
Understand fixing your engagement issue takes time. Typically, the larger the organization the longer it takes, but don’t let that discourage you. The benefits are enormous. Fixing your engagement starts with building trust. You must also communicate your values, goals and the importance of work-life balance in order to succeed in work and life. When you show you care and help them succeed, they will become more loyal and more invested in helping you succeed.
Once a commitment is made to improve employee engagement the results can be measured in many ways. Engaged employees are more focused and productive. According to Gallup, highly engaged employees are 20% more productive.
Engaged employees feel trusted and respected which then leads to better communication. When people feel heard they become more vested in their results. They take more pride in their work creating a better sense of purpose. Having purpose results in a drop in absenteeism by 41% according to Workforce Institute on Absenteeism.
Companies on average will experience a 40% improvement in turnover when they have a highly engaged workforce. According t Gallup, companies with a high turnover rate can improve their turnover up to 24% and companies with a low turnover rate can improve up to 59%.
Achieving engagement in the workplace is too important to not invest the time and the resources. The ROI as we pointed out can be measured in many ways. The important thing to remember is the impact on the workplace. Stressed is reduced, employees have more fun, they are more committed and goals are achieved. That’s a result we all can agree is worth pursuing.