Why Is Employee Engagement Important? Everything You Need to Know

Employee engagement is about improving the work environment and culture to encourage employees to be more dedicated to company goals and values.

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Introduction: What is Employee Engagement?

Ready for the deep dive into employee engagement? Let’s start the journey below.

Employee engagement is a function of the relationship between an organization and its employees. It’s about improving your workplace and culture such that employees feel more connected and dedicated to your company’s goals and values.

Employee engagement is based on trust, integrity, communication between an organization and its members.

Effective and good employee engagement includes:

  • Employees are happy and excited to work for the company and team
  • Your team values their job role and contributions to success
  • Employees value and understand the company mission, goals, and objectives. Likewise, the company understands and values employee goals.

However, it’s important to note: it’s not just employees happiness or satisfaction that matters, but how it relates to the individual’s and company’s performance and productivity.

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox

II. Benefits of Employee Engagement

Since you have a better understanding of what employee engagement truly is, you can probably start to piece together how it benefits your company.

The great thing about working and improving employee engagement is it also benefits members of your organization too.

Below are a few benefits employee engagement can have. There are more, but this provides an important high-level overview.

Improved Employer Loyalty:

By focusing on employee engagement, you help ensure employers stick around longer. This keeps employee retention high, an employee turnover costs minimal.

Low engagement and disinterest can cause employees to jump ship, quickly and often. And just because your employees are not looking for a new job, doesn’t mean they won’t accept a better offer either.

If they care about their work, team members, and company, they’ll be more invested and committed to staying.

Increase in Productivity:

Engaged employees tend to work harder and get things done, because they like what they do and believe in their value to the company. Makes sense, right?

If you are interested in something and feel a connection to what you are doing, it is much more likely you’ll do it well and be invested.

In the modern workplace, overall productivity increases by 20-25% when employees are engaged. Yet, this can also quickly be lost due to overworked and stressed employees.

Better Customer Service:

We like to think customer service and client success as crucial pieces to any successful business. After all, most businesses rely on growing and maintaining customers.

Employee engagement improves the customer service people receive from your company. Which is good for retaining customers, upsells, and also customer referrals.

Your employees are more likely to care about customers and go above and beyond to ensure customers and clients have a great experience.

More Profitability:

The overall goals for most businesses is driving profits and increasing them. Highly engaged organizations see an average of 20% higher sales than those that are disengaged.

But if your retaining employees, increasing productivity, boosting customer service, it makes complete sense that your sales and profits increase too.

It’s also important to re-invest time and money into improving employee engagement, as the profitability payouts in the long-term are well worth it.

Higher Employee Satisfaction & Happiness:

Employees need to feel satisfied in their work, otherwise interest and enthusiasm will slip away.

When employee engagement is high, employees feel satisfied with their contributions and impact. They have a connection to their performance and the company they work for. This also leads to overall happiness, which is good for company morale, productivity, etc.

Better Adoption on Company Initiatives:

When your company is looking to roll out new initiatives to boost the business, employees who are engaged are more likely to participate. They’ll value what your company is looking to do and happily jump in. Meaning your adoption rates and long lasting interest will be great.

Engaged Employees Become Brand Advocates:

When employees are informed and highly engaged, they are also more likely to be your brand advocates. This means word of mouth marketing, sharing on social media, and helping your marketing reach and employer brand.

Employees are the most trusted voice of your company and the services or products. This is referred to as employee advocacy, which will naturally start to occur.

You can also invest in a platform that helps employees stay informed, increases their engagement, and lets employees have access to the best content to share on your company’s behalf. Learn more here.

“Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.” – Zig Ziglar

III. Employee Engagement Tips

Many managers and business leaders would likely tell you that their employees are fully engaged with their company and work.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case: Gallup-conducted study found that only 15% of employees world-wide are engaged with their jobs!

That is a major problem and many companies are not aware that they even have an internal issue that is that bad. But there is hope!

Start caring about employee engagement, create an employee-first atmosphere, and provide opportunities and tools for employees to do their best work.

None of this is exactly easy at first, but here some employee engagement tips to get you on track.

Encourage Communication & Conversation:

One of the critical factors in fostering a workplace with high levels of employee engagement is communication, both formal and informal. The important thing is that you have the tools and services in place that allow people to connect with each other with as little friction as possible, no matter their role or location.

Yet, this also means getting valuable and honest feedback so your company can make improvements. It should be communicated how important this is and provide ways for employees to be open and honest.

Make Sure They’re Informed:

As stated in a past Nielsen report, people trust the recommendations of their friends and family more than any other type of marketing. Your employees have relationships with a tremendous number of people outside the walls of your company, including with your customers, prospects, partners, and future hires. Let them shout their enthusiasm for your company from the (social media) rooftops.

Let Them Share Their Enthusiasm:

As stated in a past Nielsen report, people trust the recommendations of their friends and family more than any other type of marketing. Your employees have relationships with a tremendous number of people outside the walls of your company, including with your customers, prospects, partners, and future hires. Let them shout their enthusiasm for your company from the (social media) rooftops.

Related: Interested in getting employees engaged and involved with social media? Here Are 6 Ways to Get All Employees Active in Social Media Marketing.

Reward The Actions You’re Looking For:

Talking about ye olde carrot and stick. You probably have an idea of the kind of engagement you’re looking to see from your people. Put some gamification and light rewards behind them. Even something as simple as a shout-out from an executive can be more than enough. Rewards can be a powerful driver, just be careful not to overdo it; they’re like salt, you can always add more, but it’s hard to take it away.

Measure Engagement Frequently:

A standard practice by companies is sending some sort of anonymous engagement survey to their employees, maybe once or twice a year. This is not overall very effective because it does not paint a picture of employee engagement throughout the whole year.

Measuring employee engagement is not always easy, but needs to be measured regularly. Here’s how:

  • Short frequent surveys
  • Meetings with individual employees
  • Exit interviews when employees leave
  • Employee Net Promoter Score
  • Analyzing data in tools you use (adoption)
  • Employee turnover rates/Absence rates

Related: Looking for more employee engage tips and ideas? We’ve asked 21 digital media, social, and transformational leaders to share their toughest lessons learned, keys to success, and emerging opportunities. Download your guide.

IV. Employee Engagement Statistics

One of the best ways to also back up the importance of employee engagement is to share some concrete data. There is quite a lot out there, but it’s important to just share some of the stand out statistics.

We’ve written about this more in-depth here, but below we’ve pulled out some of the interesting stats we think you’ll benefit from knowing.

  • 39% of workers would work harder if they are happy in their current role or place of work (One4all)
  • 12% of businesses are happy with current levels of employee engagement (CBI)
  • 51% of employees would quit their job if training was not offered (Udemy)
  • Nearly 60% of Americans would take a job they love over a job they hate, even if the preferred position paid half the amount of salary they would earn at the job they dislike (Lexington Law)
  • 21.5% of workers who don’t feel recognized for doing great work have interviewed for a job in the past three months vs. 12.4% who do feel recognized (TINYpulse)
  • 12% of employees admitted they were disloyal to their employer and 21% considered themselves dissatisfied (West Monroe)
  • 13.5% of workers admit that company culture will push them to accept another job offer (Ajilon)
  • 73% of employees who work in a fully-enabled digital workplace reported a positive impact on their productivity and 70% cited improved collaboration thanks to digital technologies vs. 55% those who don’t work in a fully-enabled digital workplace (Aruba)
  • Highly engaged workplaces saw 41% lower absenteeism.
  • Highly engaged organizations saw 40% fewer quality defects.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup

V. Additional Employee Engagement Resources

Congratulations for making it this far in this in-depth content on employee engagement! Hopefully, you have learned a lot about the importance of employee engagement, tips, and more.

If you are interested in boosting employee engagement, keeping employees informed, and improved feedback and knowledge sharing, employee advocacy might be right for you. You can learn more about EveryoneSocial here.

Lastly, before we complete this content, we thought it was worth sharing with you some additional resources and content that will be useful to expanding your employee engagement knowledge.