When we hear the words ‘employee engagement’ it's easy to limit our thoughts on it to the nutshell definition. There’s more to it than creating a work environment where workers feel empowered and motivated to do the best job they can.
Let’s explore 10 important objectives of employee engagement and glance at a few stats that shed light on why it’s a goal every business needs to aim for.
What The Statistics Say
According to a Gallup poll, 34% of employees in the U.S. said they are engaged at work. In the poll, their engagement meant that they were committed to, enthusiastic about, and involved in their jobs/places of employment. The percentage of engaged workers was at its highest since Gallup started reporting the national figure over two decades ago.
53% of respondents said they were not engaged, which meant they were largely satisfied at work, although they were cognitively and emotionally disconnected from it. The remaining 13% said they were actively disengaged, i.e., they were miserable at work.
Although the increase in the number of engaged employees is a step in the right direction, there’s more work to do. This is especially evident when you consider that, according to Smarp, 71% of executives said employee engagement was essential for their companies’ success, and 69% of workers said they’d work harder if they felt more appreciated.
10 Important Objectives
Does employee engagement actually work?
Smarp reported that companies with a high number of engaged employees were 21% more profitable than those in which engagement was low. So, yes, it works. However, your employee engagement program shouldn’t be directionless.
Rather, it should be designed with various important objectives in mind.
1. Improving Goal Alignment
Your business undoubtedly has values that inform the company culture, and goals towards which workers should direct their efforts. One of the main objectives of employee engagement is to help workers understand how their work contributes to the achievement of those goals.
Engagement that aims to improve employees’ alignment with company goals also should emphasize the importance of teamwork. Do this by defining the company’s primary goals and draw up a plan chart that shows the steps to their attainment.
Explain those goals to employees in meetings with Q&A sessions, and keep your workers updated regarding progress.
For teams that use Slack to communicate, we have found that creating todo lists in Slack help team members know exactly what their goals are. When team members know what their goals are, and can always refer back to them, it keeps them on track with their tasks and projects - making them feel more accomplished.
2. Improving Employer-Employee Relationship
Understanding a company’s success in terms of high income and low expenditure is an oversimplification. While maximizing profits and minimizing losses certainly have something to do with it, success includes a competent, motivated, and efficient workforce, as well as processes that contribute to the company’s sustainability.
You can only get the employee factor right when you know and understand your workers, which is another important objective of employee engagement.
When you interact with employees, you gain insights into their interests and their strengths, which you can then work around or encourage. For example, if letting someone work flexi-hours means they’re more productive than when they work regular office hours, then that’s generally the best route to take.
3. Improving Employee Health
It stands to reason that workers who are physically and mentally healthy play an important role in the company’s success. Improving employee health is another employee engagement objective to consider.
Support their sense of well-being by communicating, listening, doing your best to understand them, and enquiring whether anything is detracting from their experience as employees. If the workers feel a sense of camaraderie, they’ll be more likely to stick with the company and take fewer sick leaves. There's a huge relation between employee engagement and their health so make sure to know how to improve this and constantly measure the results. After some time, you'll figure out what works best for your team in terms of how to keep them engaged and healthy.
4. Avoiding Productivity Ruts
It’s normal that, after some time doing the same job, workers get into a rut. But with employee engagement, you can help them prevent that from happening.
If their work experience means more than doing the same job repeatedly, and instead sees them included in other aspects of the organization, they’re likely to be more motivated to help the company achieve its goals. For repeatable monotonous tasks, try leveraging automation as it can empower your team to do their best work to drive productivity and results.
5. Attracting and Retaining Employees
A company known for recognizing and appreciating workers’ contributions is a company that should have no trouble attracting or retaining employees. This is another important employee engagement objective.
Recruiting talent and retaining it is often something that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It’s a time-consuming, admin-intensive process, and not every business has the resources to dedicate it.
6. Receiving and Offering Feedback
Don’t exclude the objective of receiving and offering feedback from your program design. Besides letting workers know what they did right, and where there are areas for improvement, their feedback can benefit you too. It can help you make adjustments that improve the work experience.
7. Increasing Employee Satisfaction
Many people hope for a good balance between their personal and work lives, and when such a balance is present, they experience greater job satisfaction. Your employee engagement program should aim to help them achieve that.
8. Improving Employee Performance
Another Gallup poll revealed engaged teams were 21% more profitable than teams that weren’t engaged. Also, engaged teams also had 59% less staff turnover and 41% less absenteeism.
Your employee engagement should motivate workers to arrive at work with energy, excitement, passion for their work, and a sense of purpose.
9. Increasing and Improving Cross-Vertical Communication
You can’t have good communication in a workplace where employees are not engaged. When communication flows between management and workers, it makes it possible to solve issues that hinder productivity, prevent or resolve conflicts, and promote teamwork and respectful, healthy interpersonal relationships.
Increasing and improving cross-vertical communication is yet another important objective of engaging employees.
10. Decreasing Absenteeism
As mentioned in point 8, Gallup reported engaged teams experienced 41% less absenteeism. Those teams and the companies they work for are on their way to achieving one of the important objectives of employee engagement.
When workers feel physically and mentally well, energetic, motivated, and passionate, they’re less inclined to take many days off and regular leave periods.
A Key To Success
With these objectives and with stats to back them up, there should be no doubt in your mind about employee engagement and its effectiveness. Let the above guide your engagement program to ensure you give to your employees what’s needed for them—and the company—to thrive.
This article is a guest blog written by was written by Riley Richardson.