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The Real Value of Engaged Employees

Employee engagement is often a top goal of organizations, as it holds the keys to stronger organizational performance. When employees are motivated to do their best work, the company realizes a range of benefits that help it innovate and grow. However, according to Gallup, only 33 percent of US employees are engaged at work, suggesting there is work to do to achieve and maintain employee engagement. While there are many challenges associated with improving employee engagement, companies that overcome those challenges realize the many benefits of a highly engaged workforce. Here are some of the challenges associated with maintaining employee engagement and ways to address those challenges:

Engagement Should be Regularly Measured

The key to improving employee engagement is to first understand it, which requires measuring existing engagement levels among employees as well as the engagement factors most important to employees. Annual engagement surveys, pulse surveys, and employee focus groups are examples of tools that can help to assess employee engagement and provide the foundation for a plan to improve it.

Engagement Must be Cultivated

Employee engagement doesn’t happen all on its own. It requires an environment that allows engagement to grow. Some of the tools that can help to increase employee engagement include:

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Engagement Requires the Support of Leaders

There’s an old saying that employees don’t leave companies; they leave their managers. Research shows that the engagement of leaders affects that of their direct reports. One study found that engaged leaders were more likely to have engaged direct reports. A way to help leaders act as catalysts for employee engagement is to offer leadership development training that teaches leaders techniques for connecting with employees and leading by example.

Benefits of Engaged Employees

Despite the challenges, engaged employees provide a range of benefits:

Higher productivity

When employees are disengaged at work, companies experience 18 percent less productivity than if employees were more engaged. Alternatively, when employees are connected to their work and feel engaged, they may be more willing to go the extra mile to achieve goals and complete work.

Increased profitability

Employee engagement creates a ripple effect within the organization, whereby more engaged, productive employees help the company grow in profitability. Workgroups with highly engaged employees outperform less engaged workgroups by 22 percent in overall profitability.

Reduced turnover

Given the number of hours employees spend at work, most prefer to feel connected to their job, coworkers, and boss. When employees feel connected to their work, they may be less likely to want to leave it. According to Gallup, only 37 percent of engaged employees are looking for a new job, compared to 73 percent of disengaged employees.

A more positive company culture

Employee engagement can be contagious. Just as one disengaged employee on the team can influence other employees with their negativity or low energy, the attitudes and behaviors of engaged employees can “rub off” on others, helping to raise the engagement level of a team or department. Employees who are highly collaborative and productive and have a positive attitude toward their work can support a high-performance work culture by leading by example and showing other employees what engagement looks like. When this happens, a culture of high engagement has a chance to grow throughout the organization.

Employee engagement requires an environment where employees can develop and maintain a sense of commitment and motivation to give their best at work. There are some challenges associated with building an environment ripe for improved employee engagement. However, once those challenges are overcome, companies can realize the true value of engaged employees.

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Cameron Nouri
by Cameron Nouri
I am the Director of Growth at Pingboard. I consider myself an entrepreneur at heart. I love trying new things and taking educated risks on new ventures, both professionally and in my personal life. I bring that passion to work everyday where I enjoy helping others discover the power that Pingboard can unlock.