Engagement is an emotion and something that is difficult to score on a scale of 1-10. So, before you start any employee engagement activity in your company, read this simple guide to avoid the pitfalls and start seeing the positive impact of having a happy and engaged workforce.

What is the definition of employee engagement?

What does being engaged at work mean to you? Is it being happy? It is flexibility? It is all about recognition? There are so many elements to define the level of engagement of your team and therefore there are so many companies asking the wrong types of questions and getting an answer that isn't really based on fact.

Happiness and satisfaction are complex emotions and hard to quantify. So, by asking an employee how engaged they are, you are likely to get a bit of a "stab in the dark" kind of answer that lacks substance. If you Google employee engagement definition, there are multiple answers and 100's of variations. What this tells us is that your definition of employee engagement can be as unique to your culture.

What to measure to help understand how engaged your employees are

We've been working with our clients to help understand the most important factors that contribute to employee engagement levels and we are delighted to share them with you.

In no particular order - 

Recognition

Career development

Relationship with colleagues

Relationship with managers

Work/life balance

Wellness

Synergy with brand values

Job satisfaction

Therefore, when trying to identify your employee engagement levels within your company, you ideally need to be asking questions around all of these factors.

Why it's important to measure employee engagement

Why measure engagement

The first step to improve something is to measure it. Do you care if your employees are happy? Sure, everyone is replaceable in some way, but that's not the real point of employee engagement. The point is more that a happy and engaged workforce care more, produce more and are key influencers within your business. Taking a little time and effort to measure, improve and monitor your employee engagement can see an increase of as much as 21% to your bottom line. It's argued that employee engagement gives you one of the highest ROI's possible.

Increasing employee engagement can increase profits by as much as 21%

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According to the most recent Employee Outlook by the CIPD just over 21% of employees are now looking for a new job with a different employer. Therefore, if you employ just 50 people, 10 are likely to be looking for a new job. Without even considering a headcount increase, you may well have to find an additional 10-11 new employees, just to stand still. That's a huge cost and impact to your business, so engaging your employees will have a positive impact immediately and will reduce the likelihood of people looking for alternative employment.

The 3 main reasons people are currently looking for a job, according to the CIPD - 

54%
better pay and   benefits elsewhere
46%
increase in job satisfaction
31%
reduce stress

Therefore, if you can deal with the job satisfaction and reduction of stress, you can reduce the percentage of people looking to leave to just 10%. Dealing with better pay and benefits can help reduce this to pretty much 0% if you do it right. But it's an ongoing initiative and needs constant attention.

When you show that you care, your employees will respond with more loyalty and commitment to their job, team and the company as a whole. Furthermore, by then showing that you genuinely care about your employees’ wellbeing and overall happiness simply by implementing measurements and making a conscious effort to act on the results, you can see immediate improvements.

Acting on the results of a survey is the most important part! Too many companies conduct a survey and simply review the results without any action plan. There's nothing worse for making your employees less engaged that asking for their opinion and not acting on it.

Start as you mean to go on

One company taking employee engagement seriously is L'Oreal who are engaging with their employees from day 1. What a great way to welcome someone new to the team! By including engagement as part of your on-boarding process, you are not only setting a fabulous example, but you are also giving new starters a real feel for your employer brand.

We've spoken in previous blogs about company culture being one of the most important things to millennials and L'Oreal have developed the worlds first employee onboarding app to get new starters to understand their unique culture and how they fit into it.

Employee engagement is 50% based on company culture

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Your best ideas, not only for employee engagement, but business ideas in general will come from your engaged employees. They are the ones on the front line and they will notice the thing that matter. If they are engaged, they are more likely to suggest ideas freely which in turn, will increase your productivity and profitability further.

There are the obvious examples of Virgin and Google when it comes to achieving great results when it comes to employee engagement, but you don't have to be a large, multi-national to get it right. If you drill down into what makes these companies stand out, there is one very strong similarity - they all understand that it's a key driver to success. An article by CIM also points out the main focus of 6 household names and how you can use this to integrate into your engagement program.

It's always a great idea to keep an eye on what other companies are doing to help attract, retain and engage their workforce.

Employee engagement is the fuel of any company - don't run your in reserve

Core values of employee engagement

JobHoller are experts in employer branding and if you are, or ever have struggled to recruit the best, we may well have the perfect solution for you.  Get in touch - 01244 567 967 / info@jobholler.com to find out more.

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