Making Employee Engagement More Than Just A Buzzword

Employee engagement has become a pretty well-known phrase in HR circles. Some companies try to measure it by productivity while others try to supply their staff members with freebies, each hoping to gain the love and loyalty of their employees. For employers, determining the why and the how of employee engagement can be a minefield.

Why increasing engagement is important

Employee engagement typically refers to the emotional attachment employees have to their employer. This means loyalty, productivity, and overall satisfaction that is created intrinsically within each person as they seek to find ways to offer themselves up to the betterment of the company. Typcially, your most productive people are the ones who are the most engaged.
There are now numerous studies examining the link between engagement and its impact on a business’ bottom line. For instance, in their 2014 Engagement Report Aon Hewitt found:

  • Organizations in the top quartile for engagement (where more than 7 in 10 employees are engaged) saw a 4% increase in sales growth compared to an average company. By contrast, bottom quartile engagement companies were down -1%.
  • 70% of business leaders now believe employee engagement is critical for their business.
  • Engaged employees are also more likely to stay with an organization. Engaged organizations can reduce staff turnover by 87%.
  • A link between engagement and reduced absenteeism (2.69 average sick days versus 6.19 for disengaged employees)

How you can increase employee engagment

Here are 6 factors that are most critical to maximizing employee engagement:

  1. Employee confidence that they can do their job properly and will be allowed to do so with minimal oversight.
  2. The nature and quality of the job itself.
  3. Career development and opportunities for growth.
  4. Ongoing communication and feedback from management.
  5. A clear understanding of the company’s goals, and why employee contributions matter.
  6. Trust in the company’s integrity, and pride in their place in it.

The bottom line is, if you can educate and empower your employees, and do all you can to make an employee’s job more than just a job, your productivity will reflect that.
The desire to improve is a keystone characteristic of a successful company. Understanding your employees and finding the right ways to keep them engaged can only mean greater opportunities for your business.
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