May 7, 2021
Employee engagement can be defined as the extent to which employees are motivated to work to the best of their ability, committed to the company’s goals and values; and striving for success while maintaining their wellbeing. Engagement is facilitated through clear and honest communication between team members and their leaders, which cultivates a positive workplace culture. Engaged employees then feel inspired to excel and exude confidence in their role.
Many leaders will describe their employees as ‘engaged’, but may struggle with that crucial next step: proving the many ways in which an engaged workforce benefits the bottom line. In this article, we will explore exactly how employee engagement drives sustainable long-term growth.
When employees are disengaged, they feel detached from the company’s mission and values. They don’t view themselves as part of a team, and more often than not they’re just looking to get their tasks completed to a passable standard.
One of the byproducts of a disengaged workforce is high turnover. When long-standing employees lose interest in a company’s culture and goals, they take their skills, abilities and contacts with them when they leave. Filling these gaps is undoubtedly going to impact long-term productivity and performance.
By contrast, in an engaged workforce employees feel that they’re part of something bigger and that their role in the company counts. Not only does this motivate people to work to their full potential, but they’re more likely to make proactive suggestions as to how to improve things.
To build this type of workplace culture, employees need to feel that they are trusted and that they have autonomy. There are numerous ways in which leaders can facilitate this, such as demonstrating flexibility and allowing employees to make decisions on behalf of their own work.
A recent study shows that employees who feel their voices are heard are 4.6 times more likely to be empowered to do their best work. Therefore, managers need to consider how they listen to their team. For example, do employees have a platform to share and receive feedback? Do they feel able to discuss matters with management? Asking these questions is the first step towards a positive workplace culture and a working environment that is conducive to productivity.
An important part of employee engagement is ensuring that employees feel valued as people. This means leaders having empathy, understanding some of the challenges employees face as well as their desire to improve and progress. 96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention. And as many leaders should know, employee retention is one of the biggest assets for a company’s growth.
There are numerous direct and indirect costs associated with employee engagement, all of which have an impact on growth. For instance, reduced turnover can save time and money on recruitment and training. This is before we consider the long-term value of increased productivity, as well as any suggested improvements from engaged and autonomous employees.
An engaged workforce has a direct impact on company culture, something that is crucial to a company’s talent acquisition efforts. The best and brightest want to work where they feel appreciated, valued and challenged. In fact, 90% of professionals said they actively researched the culture of a company before accepting a role there. Therefore, directors need to strongly consider whether their workplace culture helps or hinders their employer value proposition.
One of the biggest traps leaders can fall into is thinking their employees are mere ‘resources’. With this type of mindset, employees can often feel that they’re being exploited for their skills and abilities whilst not receiving anything in return. This is a prime example of how a negative workplace culture leads to burnout and high turnover. Ultimately, putting profit over people is a false economy. And as research shows, the two needn’t be mutually exclusive.
Improving company culture is a fundamental part of engaging employees and ensuring sustainable growth. At Totem, our team of experts have created a company culture app that facilitates communication, rewards and recognition. The platform offers employees a place to feel more connected and share their views and feedback, leading to a more unified and engaged team. Be proactive in building a positive culture and request a demo today.