In November 2014, OfficeVibe published this terrific and startling infographic: 13 Disturbing Facts About Employee Engagement.
While these facts alone should help fuel a wakeup call for companies of all shapes and sizes, there are five of them that will make every organization put employee engagement at the top of their goals for 2015—and beyond.
Why It Matters
Disconnected employees have low levels of engagement in their jobs, and there is a high likelihood that they will leave the organization. The cost of employee recruitment, engagement and retention is at an all-time high, and the impact is being felt by leadership in organizations of every shape and size.
As your most valuable asset, your employees can either make your business a world-class organization or simply put in their time and contribute to the status quo. While there are several factors differentiating the two outcomes, employee engagement tops the list. The net-net on all of this: an engaged workforce can transform your entire culture and significantly impact your bottom line.
What is Employee Engagement?
In its simplest form, employee engagement is the emotional commitment employees have to their company and their work. Rather than focusing on a promotion or paycheck, engaged employees diligently work to help the organization meet its goals, knowing that they will be rewarded with the compensation and assignments that meet their skills and aspirations.
Engaged employees are enthusiastic, absorbed and involved with their work. They understand their individual roles and how they play into the bigger picture. When employees are engaged and fulfilled, they take the right action to bolster the brand's image. As a result, organizations with a high level of employee engagement consistently outperform those that don’t.
Misconceptions About Employee Engagement
Many people confuse employee engagement with employee happiness. However, just because an employee is happy doesn't mean they are working as hard and as productively possible. Employee engagement doesn't equal employee satisfaction, because a satisfied employee may not take the extra step on their own. While a satisfied employee may entertain the headhunter offering them a slight bump in pay, an engaged employee will not.
Why is Employee Engagement Important?
Engaged employees lead to better bottom lines and superior business outcomes. According to Towers Perrin, companies with engaged employees show a staggering 6% higher net profit margins. Another study performed by Kenexa suggests that companies with engaged employees have five times higher shareholder returns over five years. Overall, engaged employees improve the bottom line and have higher retention rates.
Engaged Employees Stay
Companies lose $2,246 per disengaged employee each year. This turnover quickly adds up and can average anywhere from 48% to 61% of the employee's annual salary. Considering the high cost associated with hiring and training employees, it's important to keep your best employees with the company. When your employees are engaged, they are 57% more effective and 87% less likely to leave your company.
How to Engage Your Employees
The best world-class organizations focus on employee engagement by demonstrating the following:
- Focus on bettering communication to help align the organization and business objectives
- Focus on outcome-based performance and accountability
- Investment in performance-driven programs for development
Engaged employees consistently offer a higher level of service, productivity, and quality in their work. As a result, customers are much happier and potentially tell others, which leads to higher sales without necessarily having to increase marketing and advertising. In the end, the engaged employee increases profits.
Simply put, engaged employees lead to more satisfied customers and shareholders. While there are many ways to increase the bottom line, employee engagement attacks the goal from many different angles. If you are looking to increase your bottom line, it's best to start at the top by engaging your employees.