Of the many definitions of employee engagement, Gallup’s is clear and concise: Engaged employees are enthusiastic and dedicated to their work and their workplace. They are highly engaged, drive performance and innovation, and help the organization move forward. But commitment to the workplace implies loyalty to the company and its leaders. Of course, this requires efforts on the part of leaders to inspire trust.
Not sure if your employees are engaged? Let’s take a closer look at what defines employee engagement.
What is Employee Engagement and Why is it Important?
Are your employees passionate about their roles and personally invested in the outcome of projects? If this is not the case, you may have an issue with employee engagement. To retain your most talented employees, act now to raise engagement from the top to the bottom of your organization.
When employees are truly engaged in the workplace, it’s easier to retain critically needed talent, and it’s an especially important piece of the job satisfaction outlook. Employees who are less engaged have a weaker tie binding them to an employer. As a result, these individuals may seek other gainful employment.
In the US, it is estimated that a low engagement at work costs businesses between $450 and $550 billion each year. Let’s just say that the problem is probably as important in Canada. Disengaged workers routinely take less responsibility for their work, do not champion the company’s culture or values, lack motivation, and drain productivity at your organization. All these factors add up to literally billions of dollars lost in potential productivity.
So, it’s crucial to improve employee engagement if you want to enhance quality and drive productivity. Engaged employees will deliver better service, better quality, and higher productivity, leading to higher customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers lead to increased sales and a higher volume of business. Ultimately, higher business volume leads to increased profits and greater success for your company. When you have increased profits, you’ll be able to grow your business and become much more successful.
Differences Between Employee Engagement and Employee Satisfaction
It is important not to confuse employee engagement and employee satisfaction. Engaged employees feel an emotional commitment to your company and its goals. This is a different concept than employee satisfaction which has more to do with how employees feel about their jobs and how content they are working for their employers.
Satisfaction may contribute to employee retention, but it involves a “what’s in it for me” attitude. Conversely, engaged employees have greater motivation and loyalty and are more likely to advance in their careers.
Ultimately, job satisfaction might be enough to keep an employee at a job, but it’s not enough to ensure greater productivity. For that, you need an engaged workforce.
Learn the benefits of employee engagement and how to find employees with the right qualities for your company.
The Benefits of Employee Engagement for Employers
There are significant benefits for employers that successfully keep employees committed to the job and company, including:
- Increased productivity: A Gallup study showed that workplaces with a high engagement rate are 21% more productive.
- Improved retention and cost savings on recruiting and hiring: Investing time and resources to keep current employees engaged is more cost effective in the long term than having to scout, hire and train new talent.
- Better team performance: With a greater number of employees feeling committed to collectively achieving organizational goals, the team dynamic is more positive and impactful.
- Increased profitability: An overall improved performance by engaged employees who dedicate themselves to enhancing the company’s growth and brand, beyond meeting their own satisfaction in the workplace.
- Improved mental and physical health: This results in a lower risk of burnout, less absenteeism and reduced stress and anxiety levels in the workplace.
How to Measure Employee Engagement
In a study by Harvard Business Review of companies having more than 500 employees, 71% of managers viewed employee engagement as critical to success. However, a recent Gallup poll conducted among employees and published in ‘2021 State of the Global Workplace’ revealed that only 19% of Canadian employees felt engaged in their jobs!
Where do your employees fall along the engagement spectrum? How can you find out? Start with a survey to baseline engagement in the workplace. It’s important to canvass all employees, rather than simply taking a sample of the population. When surveying employees:
- Ask about their organizational pride.
- Find out about their intent to stay at your company.
- Ask about their advocacy for the company.
- Ask employees to rate their opinions on the importance of teamwork, leadership, career development, and outlook for the future.
If your organization has gone through extensive changes, an engagement survey can help you understand how employees have adapted to the changes. Additionally, annual engagement surveys help you keep your finger on the pulse of employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity.
Ways to Improve Employee Engagement
You can take proven steps to improve employee engagement. First, make sure your recruitment and talent acquisition team matches the right employees to appropriate roles so that they are working within their range of skills. Provide your employees with any training necessary for them to work effectively, and to increase their professional skill set. This is a big contributor to employee satisfaction and engagement.
In order to inspire loyalty and commitment, business leaders must provide support to their employees in the following ways:
- Set clear and achievable objectives.
- Establish trust and empower employees to accomplish those objectives.
- Offer periodic constructive feedback.
- Facilitate training and development for employees to acquire new skills and knowledge.
- Show appreciation and recognition of employee performance and achievements.
All these objectives start with engaged leadership that trickles down to devoted team members.
Find out what your employees need to experience real and lasting engagement and do your best to remediate any deficiencies or gaps.
Your company will benefit by having highly engaged employees, leading to increased profits. It’s important to measure employee engagement and provide the tools needed to improve performance and productivity. These efforts are well worth the investment and will help your organization achieve the kind of success and employer branding that all business leaders dream of.
To summarize, an engaged workforce contributes to the organization’s success across all levels. By facilitating an environment that not only enables job satisfaction but also promotes employee engagement, your organization can focus on achieving crucial business goals.
Do you want to ensure that you’re filling your accounting and finance openings with the right candidates? As recruitment and talent acquisition specialists in accounting and finance, we can help you find motivated and engaged employees that can drive your organization’s growth and innovation. To learn more about our talent acquisition services, contact us today.
You may also be interested in our next article: What is Employer Branding and Why Is It Important When Recruiting.