In the modern business world, Employee engagement has become something of a buzz phrase. Are there real benefits of employee engagement or is it just a bunch of fluff?
Research has shown that it is harder to retain existing employees than to hire new ones. Why is that?
One reasonable answer is that many employees are not engaged in their workplace. This can lead them to feel unsatisfied, unchallenged, unappreciated, and ultimately drive them to look for work elsewhere.
Let’s take a look at why employee engagement can benefit your company as well as some employee engagement strategies.
Increased Employee Safety
When employees are more engaged in their workplace, they are far more likely to be more aware of their physical surroundings. This isn’t just a theory, but research has shown that in highly engaged workplaces 70% fewer safety incidents occur.
Better Employee Health
There is also a link between workplace engagement and better employee health. Employees that are engaged in the workplace are less likely to be obese or to suffer from chronic disease and more likely to exercise and eat healthier.
This is because the policies of workplaces that strive to create engaged employees show more respect for the needs of their workers. This helps to encourage them to take care of their health. Some policies that help support employee engagement include fresh vegetables and fruits in the break room, flexible schedules, and company-sponsored road races.
In order to motivate your employees, you should not have to rely on negative mechanisms. These include things like fear of termination, peer pressure, or other high-stress techniques.
Instead, try positive tactics such as one on one meetings and employee recognition. This can help to motivate your employees while also keeping them happy.
Having happier employees doesn’t just create a more positive work environment. It actually can help to make your business more productive. In fact, it has been estimated by the American Psychological Association that workplace stress costs the US economy more than $500 billion each year.
When employees are more engaged in the workplace, they are more invested in their job. It is important to them that their team succeeds, which means that it is more likely that they will show up to work more regularly. When employees are committed to the mission of their organization, they are motivated to head into the office each day.
That being said, it is perfectly normal for employees to take the occasional day off. In fact, this can be a sign that they are engaged. Taking a day off when necessary signifies that they feel secure in their role and that their work won’t negatively suffer from one missed day.
Greater Employee Satisfaction
It might seem like splitting hairs, but employee satisfaction is not the same thing as employee engagement. While employee engagement is a measure of how involved employees are with the company’s mission and purpose, employee satisfaction is a measure of a minimum level.
Without workplace engagement, it’s much easier for employees to be unsatisfied with their job. Even though Americans are overall fairly satisfied with their jobs, 30% of them say that their job is “just a job to get them by.” When employees are engaged with their work, it helps contribute to their sense of purpose in life.
Better Home Life
It’s easier said than done to leave your work at the office. If your job is stressful, unfulfilling, and unengaging, it can have a negative impact on your home life, too.
One study from Kansas State found that engaged employees at work have more satisfaction and better moods when they’re at home.
Greater Employee Loyalty
Employee loyalty doesn’t mean what it used to. While in the past, individuals might start working for a company with the expectation that they would work there the entirety of their careers, nowadays it is far less common for workers to stick it out at one business until they retire.
When employees aren’t engaged, it’s far more likely that they will jump ship if a better offer arises. If they are invested in the success of the company, there’s a higher likelihood they will remain loyal even in the face of other options.
No one wants to work at a job that they don’t enjoy, where they don’t feel challenged, where they don’t feel appreciated, and where they can’t utilize their strengths. More likely than not, an employee in this situation will leave for a different opportunity when it arises.
If your employees are engaged, however, your employees won’t be tempted to look around for better offers. If they’re happy with their current situation and feel engaged, challenged, and appreciated, your company will experience a much higher retention rate.
Better Customer Service
Customer service is an absolutely essential part of any business. This is even more true in the days of increasingly prevalent self-service shopping experiences. If your employees aren’t engaged, they are less likely to give our customers the attention and help that they need.
When an employee cares about the company, they automatically care about the customers. It’s that simple. If they are resentful, bitter, underappreciated, and unhappy, it will likely translate into poor customer service at one point or another.
Every business wants to be as productive as possible. One of the best ways to increase productivity at your workplace is to make sure that your employees are engaged.
Engaged employees are invested in the work they are doing, and this drives them to be far more productive than if they were just working the job to get by.
When employees are engaged, they are less likely to make mistakes. They’re also more motivated to produce excellent results, no matter what they’re working on. One study even claims that highly engaged organizations experienced 40% fewer defects in quality than organizations with less employee engagement.
More Sales and More Profits
It only makes sense that better productivity, better quality, and better customer service would result in better sales. In turn, you can only expect that these organizations will also have more profits than their less engaged counterparts. When you have higher profitability, you can reinvest some of those earnings into employee engagement to keep your business on a steady path to continued success.
What Are Some Employee Engagement Ideas?
Why is employee engagement important? As you can see from the many benefits of employee engagement listed above, it can help both your workers and your company thrive. That being said, let’s take a look at some employee engagement strategies.
People don’t always feel like they can be their authentic selves at work. When they feel like they can truly be themselves at the workplace, they’re much more likely to be engaged. Get to know your workers at a personal level rather than viewing them as interchangeable cogs.
Start Employee Rewards Programs
There are a lot of fun ways you can reward your employees for a job well done. This is a great way to boost engagement and morale.
You might look into an employee rewards platform, which is a software system that can help you to track and manage relationships and engagements in your company.
Make Sure Your Employees Aren’t Overworking
When people don’t have enough time to recuperate from their jobs and spend time with their friends and family, you’re looking at a recipe for burnout. Respect your employees’ personal time and this will help them feel appreciated and valued.
Have Social and Team-Building Events
When your employees have experiences outside of the office together, it can help lead to more effective communication, stronger working relationships, and higher job satisfaction.
Provide Flexible Work Hours and Locations
If you have built a strong company that attracts good people, you should trust them to do the work they are supposed to do. Allowing your employees to work remotely can boost productivity and increase engagement.
Create a Feedback Safe Environment
It’s important that your employees know that they can give feedback without facing negative consequences. If employees don’t feel like their jobs are safe, they will be much less likely to offer constructive criticism. This can breed resentment, bitterness, and unhappy employees.
The Many Benefits of Employee Engagement: Are You Doing Everything You Can to Keep Your Employees Engaged?
While most companies do not have the budget for creating fun and alternative workspaces like some tech giants might, there are a lot of budget-friendly ways to show your employees that you appreciate them. When you invest in your employees you increase the likelihood that they will be invested in your company. This can help to produce a more productive, more profitable, and more pleasant business.
Did you find this article on the benefits of employee engagement interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more fascinating and informative content!