Employee engagement is quite the buzzword at the moment, and understandably so. What company would not want engaged employees who show up to work with passion, purpose, and energy? Engagement, simply put, is good for business.
And yet, 85% of employees are not part of that coveted group. According to the Gallup report State of the Global Workplace, an average of only 15 percent of employees are engaged in the work they do. Gallup defines engaged employees as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace”. It’s obvious that it will have serious repercussions for the business if only 15% of the workforce actually feels this way.
In this article, we’ll have a closer look at five of the most important benefits of employee engagement — and how to drive engagement and wellbeing in your organization.
Table of contents
- Increased productivity and greater profitability
- Reduced sick leave and less long-term sickness absence
- A stronger employer brand
- Employees become advocates
- Increased staff retention
- How to measure employee engagement
1. Increased productivity and greater profitability
If you were thinking employee engagement is a “soft” value, think again. According to Gallup, highly engaged teams achieve on average 21% greater profitability. This means that the cost of low employee engagement is very high, a fact that is beginning to dawn on an increasing number of business leaders. While employees who are not engaged in the business will give their minimum effort, employees who are engaged will instead go the extra mile and exceed expectations.
2. Reduced sick leave and less long-term sickness absence
Employee absenteeism presents a challenge to most businesses. When employees don’t show up for work, projects take longer and productivity decreases.
Of course, some absence due to illness and injury is a part of life and cannot be avoided entirely. But there is also employee absenteeism that can be a symptom of other problems. Problems that could be avoided if addressed in the right way.
Preventable mental health issues such as work-related stress, and a general lack of interest and engagement, account for a large portion of absenteeism. Addressing those issues and raising the level of employee engagement often has an immediate effect on sick leave. Happier staff are simply a lot less likely to take time off sick.
3. A stronger employer brand
Employee engagement is central to building an employer brand that attracts top talent. If your workforce is not engaged and happy at work, presenting your company as an attractive place to work becomes impossible.
With the level of transparency that social media has brought, the only way to build a strong employer brand is to invest in employee engagement. In a survey by the American Psychological Association, 89% of employees responded that they are more likely to recommend their company as an attractive employer if there are initiatives to drive engagement and well-being in place.
4. Employees become advocates
Happy employers make really great marketers. People who are engaged in your company are often great ambassadors off-the-clock as well and will happily recommend you to potential customers in their network. They will share company updates on their personal social media accounts and help you build brand awareness.
5. Increased staff retention
When people are engaged in and enjoy their work, they are less likely to leave. High employee engagement correlates with a reduction in staff turnover, which is something that has a direct impact on your business’s bottom line.
Research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicates that a full-time employee’s average replacement cost is somewhere around six to nine months’ salary. For example, replacing an employee with a salary of $60,000 per year will mean approximately $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting and training costs.
How to measure employee engagement
An increasing number of HR managers and business leaders are becoming aware of the business impact of employee engagement. This means that measuring and improving it has moved to the top of the agenda.
From one big yearly survey — to agile, adaptive pulse surveys
Historically, employee engagement was often measured in one, massive, yearly survey. The feedback loop would take months, as the results had to be analyzed, compiled, and reported on before it was finally time to act on them. But in today’s fast-moving work life, this method has become outdated.
Instead, businesses now turn to modern and agile employee survey tools, with pulse functionality and real-time analytics to monitor and drive employee engagement and wellbeing.
How Eletive can help you measure and drive employee engagement
Eletive is a modern People Success Platform. We give you everything you need to build a workplace where your people can thrive and perform at their best.
Our adaptive machine-learning algorithm creates smart surveys for maximum impact. Questions and advice are developed by psychologists and based on the latest research.
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND AGILE GOALS
By bringing 1-on-1 meetings, OKR planning, and SMART goals into one unified platform, we make it easy for you to align around common processes and goals.
SELF-LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Our unique emphasis on self-leadership changes the organizational dynamic and empowers everyone to help build a great company culture — together.
Interested in how your business could benefit from a modern tool for employee engagement surveys? Talk to one of our specialists!