While many organizations are transforming their workplace culture, some of the most successful organizations are laser-focused on one critical area – Employee Engagement. Organizations with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share, and engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave the company.[i] Organizations that proactively support a workplace strategy defined by meaningful work and employee engagement will see greater degrees of involvement and success.
There are many different ways to promote employee engagement, but there are three specific areas of focus that can have almost immediate results. Providing employees with meaningful work, effective management support, and ongoing training, will drive employee engagement and will lead to workplace success. Ken Oehler, Global Culture & Engagement Practice Leader at AON, wrote, “the concept of employee engagement is often confused with satisfaction or happiness, but it’s really about an employee’s psychological investment in their organization and motivation to produce extraordinary results. Companies with employees who are above average engagement levels will see better employee productivity, lower turnover rates, and higher customer satisfaction scores – all factors that can significantly contribute to improved financial performance.”[ii]
Meaningful Work – Research has shown that employees who find their work meaningful, and are given the right tools and autonomy, are more likely to be engaged.[iii] In fact, Deloitte surveyed 560 employees across virtually every major industry and global region, and meaningful work was identified as one of the top 3 engagement drivers.[iv] Unlike with satisfaction and engagement, which can be managed with company policies and initiatives, meaningfulness is much more individual and personal. The main way that employees find meaning is to reflect on their work.[v] In today’s workplace, managers can craft current roles to create meaningful work, with minimal effort. In the process, employees become more engaged in their work.[vi]
Effective Management Support – Gallup estimates that managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores, and that companies should systematically demand that every team in their workforce have a great manager.[vii] Engaged employees are more likely than their colleagues to say their managers help them set work priorities and performance goals. They are also more likely to say their managers hold them accountable for their performance.[viii] A Society for Human Resource Management study found that 58% of employees say it’s very important to have a good relationship with their manager, yet only 40% of employees actually do.[ix] Providing effective management support to employees is essential to engagement.
Invest in your people –The most powerful thing a manager can do for employees is to place them in positions that allow them to use the best of their natural talents, and add skills and knowledge to develop and apply their strengths.[x] Continued learning in the workplace is so important, in fact, the total loss to a business from ineffective training is $13.5 Million dollars per year, per 1,000 employees.[xi] The more skills an employee has, the more they will be able to grow your business.
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[i] Daichendt, Alyson, et al. “Work Culture vs. Employee Engagement | Deloitte US.” Deloitte United States, 25 May 2017, www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/human-capital/articles/culture-versus-employee-engagement-strategy.html.
[ii] “2018 Global Employee Engagement Trends Report.” Aon, www.aon.com/2018-global-employee-engagement-trends/index.html.
[iii] Bersin, Josh, and Bersin & Associates. “Unlocking the Secrets of Employee Engagement | Deloitte US | CFO Program.” Deloitte United States, 21 June 2018, www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/finance/articles/cfo-insights-employee-engagement.html.
[v] “Motivation Through Meaning: Retain Employees With Meaningful Work.” Hppy, 29 Jan. 2018, gethppy.com/employee-engagement/retain-employees-meaningful-work.
[vi] “The Top 5 Drivers of Employee Engagement.” Interact Software, 2 Jan. 2018, www.interact-intranet.com/blog/the-top-5-drivers-of-employee-engagement/.[vii] Gallup, Inc. “Why Great Managers Are So Rare.” Gallup.com, 25 Mar. 2014, news.gallup.com/businessjournal/167975/why-great-managers-rare.aspx.
[viii] Adkins, James HarterAmy. “What Great Managers Do to Engage Employees.” Harvard Business Review, 2 Apr. 2015, hbr.org/2015/04/what-great-managers-do-to-engage-employees.
[ix] Lewis, David, et al. “3 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement by Improving Managers’ Communication Skills.” Training Industry, 11 Aug. 2017, trainingindustry.com/articles/leadership/3-ways-to-increase-employee-engagement-by-improving-managers-communication-skills/.
[x] Adkins, James HarterAmy. “What Great Managers Do to Engage Employees.” Harvard Business Review, 2 Apr. 2015, hbr.org/2015/04/what-great-managers-do-to-engage-employees.
[xi] Grovo. “How to Increase Employee Engagement Using Microlearning.” LinkedIn SlideShare, 26 May 2015, www.slideshare.net/GoGrovo/atd-microlearning-2015-final.