According to a recent Gallup poll the percentage of ‘engaged’ workers – those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace – is 34%. The highest level since Gallup started reporting the figure in 2000.
The number of workers who are miserable at work at the lowest recorded of 13%.
Businesses have taken note of the power of employee engagement and made huge strides. However, with 53% of workers recorded as being disengaged – not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace – there is obviously still a lot of work to do.
£340 billion is the cost of disengaged employees to the UK economy. That’s why employee engagement matters. And then, what if they’re so disengaged that they decide to move? That comes with a cost too because you need to find a replacement, onboard and train them. Some estimate that cost to be six to nine months of their salary, while others put that cost as high as 200% of their salary.
Flip it around and you can see the benefits clearly too. A highly engaged team show 21% greater profitability. Those teams who score in the top 20% in engagement realise a 41% reduction in absenteeism, and 59% less turnover. Inspiring your employees, giving them a good employee experience and a reason to turn in a shift with passion, purpose, presence, and energy will make a difference to your bottom line.
People are your most valuable asset. They make your business. They drive your business. More so than your tech, machinery or buildings, so you need to nurture, inspire and enthuse them.
From when they discover you as a business and go through the recruitment process to on-boarding and continued engagement, you need to have an employer brand, employee engagement strategy and develop a world-class employee experience. That all starts with business leaders.
Employee engagement isn’t something that should be relegated to a list for HR to deliver. Meaningful and powerful employee engagement is a vital component of effective organisational leadership. Given how it affects the bottomline it’s understandable why.
Leaders should be driving the initiative and be striving to give their employees purpose and meaning. If your business has strong company core values and a powerful mission statement then these can be used in feedback and check-ins.
And not just from leaders. 89% of HR leaders agree that regular peer feedback and check-ins are key to successful outcomes. Recognition and feedback are important, but it’s not enough. Leaders also need to listen. An included and engaged workforce that feels like leadership is collaborating and listening with them can produce fantastic results. Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.
Improving employee engagement, developing the employee experience and evolving your employee brand will all have a positive effect on productivity and, ultimately, the bottom line. There are other benefits too.
The customer experience can also improve and bring with it all the benefits that offers. Your employees are the ones who engage and interact with the customer and if you empower them to suggest recommendations, facilitate the pathways of feedback and actively change your approaches based on their insight, you will see improvements in the customer experience.
Equally, a more engaged and enthused employee will go the extra mile to satisfy your customers. Research has proven that companies who work hard to develop and improve the customer experience are typically 1.5 times more engaged employees.
Technology can turn ambition into action. It can be used to better understand and improve the organisation's current employee composition, performance, development of employees, staff facing products and also customer services.
Smart analysis of data can also evaluate and improve practices including talent acquisition, development, retention, and overall organisational performance. These tools can enable leaders to make better and smarter decisions around employee retention, talent recruitment, employee productivity and forecasting.
The shift in approach to evaluating and developing staff also makes the use of tech a smart move. There has been a move away from a competitive evaluation model where you rate employees, rank them and move on those at the bottom, to a coaching and development model.In the old model, it was the managers who added value and the employees were simply cogs in the machine. In the coaching and developing model the employees are recognised as having equal, or more, value.
It’s easy to identify ways that technology can help the employee perform better, develop a ‘growth’ mindset and encourage continuous job and career development. 75% more businesses now, compared to ten years ago, employ the coaching and development model.
According to AON, a 5 point increase in employee engagement leads to a 3% increase in revenue. Engaged employees put a business on the path to success. You shouldn’t just focus on building a business, but you should build the people to grow your business. A good employee engagement strategy will make your business more productive and profitable.
Your engaged employees will positively influence other employees, provide better customer service and be more enthusiastic about their work. As Doug Conant says, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace”.
To find out more, take a look at some findings from a survey we conducted of an industry cross-section of over 1,000 employees to help understand what today’s workforce are looking for from their employers, in order to help shape your employee engagement strategy. We hope you find the report insightful: Personalisation and the Art of Employee Engagement