Before we delve into the many benefits that high employee engagement provides, we need to understand the concept. There is no agreed-upon standard definition of ‘employee engagement’ out there. Several practitioners and researchers have developed their own working definitions, which can lead to some confusion.
However, for the purposes of this post, we’ll understand employee engagement to mean “a concept that is generally viewed as managing discretionary effort, that is, when employees have choices, they will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work.”
Employee engagement – what are the real benefits?
- Employee satisfaction:
Research indicates that if employees are engaged with the company their job satisfaction levels increase. Employees that are engaged and satisfied are very invested in the success of the business and have a high level of commitment and loyalty. Satisfied employees play a key role in your organization, as ambassadors of the company. They promote and support the company’s mission, strategy and brand.
Engaged employees are often top performers, those committed to ‘going the extra mile’ to achieve business success. As an employee becomes more engaged their absenteeism lowers and their motivation increases leading to increased productivity. What this means is that the more engaged the employee is the more efficient and driven to succeed they become. According to research performed by the HayGroup ‘the offices with engaged employees were as much as 43% more productive’.
- Retention & recruitment:
Retaining good employees is key to the success of every business. Employees who are engaged significantly lower the risk of turnover for the company. As engaged employees are more invested in the success of the company they also become more loyal. Simply put, when employees are satisfied and engaged they are far more likely to stay with the organization. Coupled with retention, businesses that have a highly engaged workforce have an increased ability to attract new, qualified employees.
There is a close relationship between innovation and employee engagement. Engaged employees perform at a higher level and bring passion and interest to their job, which often leads to innovation in the workplace. As highly engaged employees feel they have a real stake in the organization, they strive to efficiently create new products, services and processes. Collaboration in the workplace amongst engaged employees and top management also leads to overall organizational growth.
Companies with more engaged employees tend to have higher profitability rates. When employees are engaged they become more productive and efficient, positively affecting the company’s bottom line. A study by Wyatt Watson found that companies that have highly engaged employees produce 26% higher revenue per employee. The equation makes perfect sense. The more engaged your employees are the more efficient and productive they become, lowering operating costs and increasing the profit margin.
Wyatt Watson Survey (2008/09): ‘Driving Business Results Through Continuous Engagement’:
Forbes.com (2012): ‘Why Employee Engagement? (These 28 Research Studies Prove the Benefits)’: