Employee Engagement: How It Can Affect Your Business

1 year ago

Engaging employees results in multiple upticks for businesses, in everything from profit levels to customer engagement and sales.

Defining Employee Engagement

There is no universal definition for staff engagement. According to Paul L. Marciano’s book Carrots and Sticks Won’t Work, more than fifty definitions of this term have been identified. However, Marciano highlights the Conference Board’s committee-created definition as a good conceptual definition. This defines employee engagement as “a heightened emotional and intellectual connection that an employee has for his/her job, organization, manager, or coworkers, that, in turn, influences him/her to apply additional discretionary effort to his/her work.”

There is no universal measuring stick for staff engagement, so each Voice of the Employee provider has its own way of defining and measuring it. As a leading provider of Voice of the Employee satisfaction and engagement-boosting programs, PeopleMetrics measures employee engagement according to the following characteristics: Passion, effort, advocacy, and retention. Engaged employees spend extra effort on their work. They are more likely to stick around than disengaged employees, and are happy to recommend their employer to others.

Current Staff Engagement Levels in American Companies

Now consider these statistics from employee engagement reports that various research companies have published in the last two years regarding American workers:

– Gallup’s last round of employee engagement research found that 28% of American workers are engaged, 54% are disengaged, and 18% are actively disengaged.

– Blessing White’s 2011 Employee engagement Report found that 31% of employees are engaged, while 17% are disengaged.

– PeopleMetrics’ 2009 Employee engagement study found that 12% of all employees are actively disengaged at work.

– Modern Survey found that 75% of employees are disengaged, and 25% are either engaged or fully engaged.

While these numbers vary according to how each firm defines and measures employee engagement, we can summarize that engagement among American employees is low enough to prompt 84% of senior leaders to say that disengaged employees are one of the top three threats facing their business, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Every company is unique. These numbers attempt to capture a nationwide snapshot of engagement; levels among your staffers may be higher or lower. A Voice of the Employee program can help you establish current engagement levels. Then, a Voice of the Employee ongoing solution can help you increase these levels across your staff. Here are some benefits of boosting staff engagement:

Outcomes of High Staff Engagement

Various studies have found a correlation between employee engagement and profit levels; companies with higher engagement levels tend to see higher profits over time.

1. Overall Better Performance. 51% of high performers are engaged, as compared to just 24% of low performers. (Economic Intelligence Unit)

2. High Earning Per Share. Firms with a high percentage of engaged employees increased their earnings per share 28% year to year. (Towers Perrin)

3. Higher Customer Engagement. Customers who interact with highly engaged employees tend to be more engaged themselves. (Economic Intelligence Unit)

4. Higher Share Prices than Competitors. Share prices of companies with highly engaged employees rose by an average of 16%, compared to the industry average of 6%. (Sirota Consulting)

5. More Employee Effort. Engaged employees spend more 57% more effort on their work. (Corporate Executive Board)

6. Higher Sales. Teams with high levels of staff engagement sell over 20% more than teams with low employee engagement. (PeopleMetrics)

7. Fewer Mistakes. Hospital research has linked high levels of employee engagement to fewer medication errors and lower rates of health care associated infections. (Economic Intelligence Unit)

Rather than using a trial-and-error approach, establish a Voice of the Employee program. This will help you consistently measure employee engagement among your ranks, using proven market research techniques.

Look to partner with Voice of the Employee programs that include libraries of resources on how to improve engagement, along with real-time tools to help managers quickly respond to employees’ needs.

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