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The Benefits of Employee Engagement
Managing Employee Engagement

Employee engagement, if shepherded correctly, will increase overall productivity, work quality, and improve retention. It creates employees who feel more passionate about their position within the company, exhibit true enthusiasm about the organization, matched with an added commitment to their associates.  

Many employees today are looking beyond the old 9-to-5 job.  They are dissatisfied by a lack of recognition from their managers, second-rate or non-existent company communication, while never fully understanding the mission or goal of the company. They view themselves as an unimportant cog in the company machinery. If this situation is going to be reversed, employee engagement must become a top strategic business objective of all management teams.  

It makes total sense—and there is plenty of quantitative data to support this direction.  According to Gallup, companies who offer a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity.  These employees are more involved and work harder; on the other hand, disengaged employees are likely to do only the bare minimum to get by. The Workplace Research Foundation found that engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above average productivity. Engaged organizations have double the rate of success compared to less engaged organizations, according to the Harvard Business Review. This holds true for organizations across multiple industries, including healthcare organizations or factories. HBR also found that organizations which scored higher in employee engagement reported 48% fewer safety incidents and 41% fewer patient safety incidents.


Employee Engagement in Action

It's no surprise then that engaged employees tend to work with a high level of enthusiasm and typically exhibit unquestioned loyalty to the company.  As a result, they often drive change and push the organization in totally new directions. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that employers tired of the constant revolving employee door are addressing this trend and investing in it.

Truly engaged employees are easy to spot in any organization. They are as follows:
•    A totally active member of the team
•    Driven by clearly defined goals
•    Trusted and empowered by upper management
•    The recipient of regular and constructive feedback
•    Supported in developing new skillsets
•    Genuinely thanked and recognized for success

Unengaged Employees

Unengaged employees just work for their paychecks, the weekend, and upcoming holidays. They might seem to be happy in their positions, but that doesn't necessarily translate into working diligently on behalf of the organization. They sometimes understand the company's values and goals but won't go out of their way to follow it.

Many companies distribute periodic "employee satisfaction" surveys and then point to relatively positive results. The survey findings may paint a rosy picture but potentially a deceiving one. The majority of satisfied employees show up for their daily 9-to-5 routine without complaint. However, that same "satisfied" employee might not exert any energy in going the "extra mile" on a project, and even worse, will probably leave the company for a better paying job as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

A final note of caution: Those organizations that do not institute strong employee engagement strategies will find the overwhelming majority of its employees falling under the category of "unengaged".


Final Takeaways

In closing, this all-important employee engagement strategy leads to:

•    A decided decrease in employee turnover
•    Improvements in overall productivity
•    Greater efficiencies in the workplace
•    Retention of your best employees at a significantly higher rate
•    An organization experiencing increased sales and higher profits



About the author:

Rich Nelson has been a senior marketing executive for over 35 years. The key focus throughout his career has been helping small to medium size businesses succeed in an ever-competitive marketplace.

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