Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement [2020]

Leaders play a major role in the success of a business. As the saying goes, “leaders can make or break an organization”. Running a business doesn’t just require the knowledge and skills to be excellent at managing the general business operation. 

It also requires the skill to influence others in an empowering manner and understanding the needs of other people. For an organization to grow and thrive, developing and sustaining employee engagement is key.

The importance of excellent leadership is paramount as it is the major determinant in improving employee engagement. This is because employee engagement is based on two-way communication, integrity, commitment and trust. It can’t be achieved through a mechanistic approach. 

Boosting employee engagement has been the secret recipe top companies have been using to keep their employees productive and committed to accomplishing their business goals. For developing and sustaining employee engagement, it is important to use a strategy that has been proven effective.

We’ve done the research for you and compiled what you need to know to help you implement effective strategies to develop and sustain employee engagement in your organization.

Here’s everything you need to know about developing and sustaining employee engagement:

The Difference Between Engaged and Disengaged Employees

There is a big difference on how engaged and disengaged employees perform, behave and think. Here are statistics to help show you how different both are:

  • Engaged companies experience 233% greater customer loyalty and a 26% boost in annual revenue. – Aberdeen
  • According to Recruit Loop, workers that are highly engaged are 87% less likely to leave their organization than unhappy employees. 
  • According to Gallup, a highly engaged workforce is 21% more profitable.

 

In other words, engaged employees are more loyal, committed, productive and they perform better. Here are more findings from a study conducted by Sodexo

  1. 82% of engaged workers said they go above and beyond what is expected of them.
  2. 91% of engaged employees feel challenged and utilized at work.
  3. 90% of engaged workers feel a sense of commitment and or dedication to their organization. 

Meanwhile, these are the statistics for disengaged employees:

  • According to a study conducted by Queens School of Business together with Gallup, disengaged employees make 60% more errors, 49% more accidents and have 37% higher absenteeism rate.
  • According to Harvard Business Review employee disengagement is costing their employers $450 to $550 billion per year. 

This huge difference is why it’s important to develop employee engagement and how employee engagement is closely tied to positive company results. According to Gallup, just 37% of U.S. workers are engaged. 

What Makes Employees Engaged and Disengaged?

Based on the statistics shown above and other studies about employee engagement, engaged employees have a real connection with their jobs. As mentioned earlier, they are more loyal, productive and willing to do more because they feel their contribution is significant to the success of their organization.

To develop employee engagement, it is important to set clear job expectations. It is also important to keep workers challenged and have opportunities for career advancement. According to Sibson Consulting, engaged employees know what to do and want to do what they have to. 

Boredom and lack of opportunities for career advancement can result in disengagement. There’s also the impact of employee benefits and employee recognition. Offering the right employee benefits and also having strategies to empower employees help with developing and sustaining employee engagement. 

Strategies to Develop and Sustain Employee Engagement

There are a lot of ways on how you can boost and sustain employee engagement. We’ll share with you a few of the best strategies and while some may seem too simple, they can be difficult to do in a consistent manner. 

Be Clear with Goals

Remember that being clear with job expectations and goals help with improving employee engagement. If employees want and know what they have to do, they can be committed and more willing to put extra effort on their work.

Recognize Employee Efforts

Top companies share certain characteristics. One of which is that they value employee recognition. Recognizing efforts is a show of your appreciation. By doing this, you earn your workers’ trust and willingness to do more.

Here are some ways on how you can recognize employee efforts: 

  1. Say thank you more often
  2. Compliment the hard work of your employees
  3. Take them out to lunch
  4. Memorize and call them by their names
  5. Compliment them in public

Employee Benefits

Providing the right employee benefits is also crucial in developing and sustaining employee engagement. Provide benefits that can help your workers with financial security such as retirement plans and also offer benefits that help promote work-life balance.

You can do this by offering a flexible work schedule, remote work or reduced working hours. Right now, work-life balance is a hot topic among corporations and a growing number of companies have begun to embrace the practice of promoting work-life balance. 

The one method on how you can begin to experience the benefits of having an engaged workforce is through the implementation of what you’ve learned from this article. In order to make your employees more engaged, you need to care for them and make them feel valued.

Having an engaged workforce is what sets the pace to achieve business success. As Richard Branson said, “clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.”