How employees feel is important — it affects not only their day-to-day work, but also their overall happiness, productivity, and perception of the organization they work for. The right employee engagement strategy can make all the difference in your employee experience.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement helps measure how employees feel about the organization they work for — including the work they do, their colleagues and teams, and the organization — and their commitment to helping the organization succeed.
Engaged employees are:
- Enthusiastic about their work and projects
- Dedicated to their role and responsibilities
- Open to growth and learning
- Honest with their colleagues and managers
Employee engagement takes employee satisfaction one step further. Where satisfaction is typically concerned with an employee’s short-term attitude, engagement is concerned with how an organization can motivate an employee to bring their best self to work every day and form a lasting connection between employer and employee.
Engaged employees are committed to helping their organization meet its goals — they are motivated, driven, inspired, and invested in your company’s long-term success. They aren’t afraid to go above and beyond.
Why is employee engagement important?
Making sure employees feel engaged and excited about the work they do is important. How important? Engaged employees are more committed to their jobs, happier at work, and can even help improve business outcomes. A Gallup study found that “business or work units that score in the top quartile of their organization in employee engagement more than double their odds of success.”
Organizations with high employee engagement have high levels of retention and low levels of turnover, a more productive workforce, and the opportunity to maximize financial growth.
- Increased retention: If an employee feels committed to and invested in their work, they form a connection with the organization and its long-term success. As this relationship grows, employees can see their impact, further encouraging them to stay. Research shows that engaged employees are more likely to stay with their employers. According to People Managing People, “highly engaged business units achieve 59% less turnover” in high turnover organizations and “24% less turnover” in low turnover organizations.
- Increased productivity: Engaged employees can be high-impact contributors to your organization. They’re more likely to be present and intentional with their work — increasing their overall productivity. A Gallup survey found that “the behaviors of highly engaged business units result in a 23% difference in profitability.”
- Less stress: If an employee isn’t engaged, they may be feeling stressed about their role in the company and their contributions. Research has shown that this workplace stress could lead “to an increase of almost 50% in voluntary turnover” and that high-stress environments could potentially reduce employee productivity over time and increase health care costs. By creating a strong employee engagement strategy, you can potentially reduce stress and create a healthy, stable workplace culture.
- Easier recruiting: If an employee has a positive outlook on their work, they will share with those around them. Word-of-mouth promotion and firsthand knowledge from current employees is free, impactful, and for some candidates, even essential. From recruiting to hiring, new employees and those interested in joining your organization will be paying attention to what your current employees have to say.
Top 10 ways to increase employee engagement
Here are our top 10 motivators that can help you increase employee engagement:
- Help build a meaningful career.
Help provide employees with a meaningful career path inside a company they believe in and that shares their same values.
- Offer opportunities for flexibility.
As much as possible, it’s important to offer flexibility that allows your people to take time off if they need it, work a non-traditional day, and/or work from the place that best fits their needs.
- Commit to social responsibility.
Employees want to work for organizations that are driven by purpose. Help candidates and employees see how your company is making the world a better place, and be sure to showcase a strong, ongoing, and authentic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Hire empathetic and trusted leaders.
Leaders who are empathetic and trustworthy — who show their human side — can make all the difference when it comes to employee engagement. They help prove that your company is dedicated to professional success as well as to employee wellbeing.
- Share company expectations.
Ensure employees know, understand, and embrace the expectations you are committed to and believe are essential to their — and the company’s — success.
- Embrace an inclusive culture.
Inclusivity impacts an employee’s everyday experience. A sense of belonging to a culture that cares and welcomes everyone can be the difference between an employee leaving or staying with your company.
- Promote financial support.
Consider a robust package of financial offerings that go beyond the norm to promote smart money decisions and help employees plan for a more secure future.
- Help create opportunity.
Employees value the opportunity to grow and build a career. You can help by offering a structured path with learning opportunities, paid courses, and check-ins along the way.
- Promote health and wellbeing.
Not to be overlooked, programs, benefits, and services that show care and support for the whole person — from physical and emotional to social and financial — are vital.
- Offer competitive pay.
Be sure to review your compensation structure and strategy. Employees want to feel that they’re fairly compensated for the work they do.
An employee engagement communication example
PartnerComm helped a global media, marketing, and communications company take their employee experience to the next level with a custom campaign focused on increasing employee engagement, feelings of support, and ultimately, happiness.
This “Happiness Campaign” helped position the organization as a fun place to work that values employee mental health and wellbeing. The monthlong campaign was a success, with over 29,600 visits to the website, and 67% of employees surveyed strongly agreeing or agreeing they had a greater awareness of the benefits and resources available to support wellbeing because of the campaign.