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May 15, 2013

How Important is Employee Engagement?

Filed under: Engagement10:59 am

Employee engagement is closely linked to employee motivation.  Employees who are motivated are more likely to consistently perform their best work.  They become positive assets for their company by daily demonstrating their satisfaction and engagement with their work.  Gallup recently researched employee engagement.  They defined “Engaged” employees as those that “are deeply involved in and enthusiastic about their work and actively contributing to their organization.”  Conversely, employees who “are ‘not engaged’ may be satisfied but are not emotionally connected to their workplaces and are less likely to put in discretionary effort.  ‘Actively Disengaged’ [employees] are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace and jeopardize their teams’ performance.”  Think about those definitions for just a minute.  Do you have employees that are not engaged that could be?  Do you have actively disengaged employees that may need to be off-boarded?

The poll showed that 36% of managers and executives were “Engaged” in their jobs, which was a 10% increase compared with their results in 2009.  The least engaged were in the manufacturing and transportation industries.  The statistics nationwide indicated that overall 30% of employees are “Engaged,” 18% are “Actively Disengaged,” and the remainder, representing the majority, are “Not Engaged.”

These statistics can be alarming to employers who are coasting along thinking all their employees are happy and satisfied.  What can be done to motivate and achieve engagement in employees?  While many organizations try to “buy” their employees through increased wages and benefits packages, such are short-lived.  Salary and benefits are tangible and important to employees, but work best to attract and retain the top talent.  True motivation and engagement tools come through intangible efforts, such as praise and recognition, challenging work over which they have control, respect, and growth opportunities.  When employees see these regularly practiced in the workplace, they are much more likely to be engaged and compatible with the organization, helping to reap big dividends!



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