What is employee engagement?
Wikipedia describes employee engagement as ‘’a fundamental concept in the effort to understand and describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of the relationship between an organisation and its employees.’’
At its core employee engagement can be more easily described as the relationship between work, an organisation and its employees.
Why employee engagement matters
Employee engagement plays a key role in businesses having a productive workforce.
If businesses want to succeed then employers should do everything in their power to make their employees feel like valued members of the organisation. However, building and then maintaining a motivated and engaged workforce isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The risks or poor employee engagement
Low employee engagement can impact more than just how an employee feels about working for your organisation.
There’s an old saying that goes something like ‘’one rotten apple can spoil the bunch’’, and while we don’t agree with referring to people as ‘rotten’, this can be true of employee engagement and the effect it can have on the rest of your workforce.
From disrupting a previously harmonious work environment to decreasing morale and increased costs, poor employee engagement can create a knock on effect that can cause a company to stagnate over time.
By following some basic employee engagement tips, most organisations will be able to circumvent this to a large degree.
Employee engagement tips
- Try to empathise with your employees and get to know them on a more personal level
- Empower your employees to make decisions by themselves without any micromanagement
- Provide open and honest feedback regularly and be constructive with any criticism by framing it in a more positive light
- Set clear goals and expectations. If you want a highly engaged workforce then it’s imperative that they know what’s expected/required of them. Generally we find that when organisations don’t set expectations early, they often see much higher churn rates in their new hires, and thus will have a far more costly hiring process
- Try to help them fulfil their dreams and aspirations. Most employees today will have a number of different jobs throughout their careers. If you can be open and honest about this it will help your employees to feel more valued and will also help mitigate any potential shocks if/when they change roles in the future
Employee engagement statistics
- Employee engagement drives company growth! A Gallup meta analysis found that companies with engaged workforces are up to 22% more profitable than competitors with lower engagement numbers (Gallup)
- Gallup’s 2022 State of the Workplace Report found that only 21% of workers globally were engaged at work, with women (23%) being slightly more engaged than men (20%) (Gallup)
- Globally, in the first half of last year 85% of employees said they were either not fully engaged or actively disengaged at work (Gallup)
- 33% of employees globally said they were thriving in their overall wellbeing at work (Gallup)
- Poor employee engagement around the world has been estimated to cost around $7 trillion in lost productivity! (Gallup)
- Business units with engaged workers have 23% higher profit when compared to business units with unengaged workers (Gallup)
- According to one study by Qualtrics, around 50% of UK workers reported they are engaged in their current job (The Circular Board)
- (81%) of businesses agree that high employee turnover is a ‘costly problem.’ (Zenefits)
- According to one study, 63% of companies say retaining employees is actually harder than hiring them (Zenefits)
- One study found that highly engaged workplaces see a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% increase in sales (Qualtircs)
- 75% of employees said they wanted to work for an organisation that makes a positive contribution to society (PWC)
- 71% of employees said that being fairly rewarded financially was the main factor in staying with a company. The next main factors were finding a job fulfilling (69%) and working in an environment where you can be yourself (66%) (PWC)
- In one survey, 43% of people said they prefer to receive recognition privately in a one-on-one with their manager (Haiilo)
- In 2019 a report by the company Bonusly found that 84% of highly engaged employees were recognized for their achievements at work compared to only 25% of actively disengaged employees (Bonusly)
- One long term study found that having a good company culture increases revenue by as much as 4x! (Forbes)
- The same study found that company culture impacts stock market performance too – with share prices increasing on average 901% compared to only 74% for companies deemed to have ‘non-performance enhancing cultures’ (Forbes)
- 73% of employees surveyed would consider leaving their current role for the right offer – even if they’re not actively looking for a new job at the moment (Business Insider)
- The hospitality industry had the highest share of workers thinking about quitting at 77% (Business Insider)
- 74% of younger employees surveyed said they would accept a pay cut for the chance to work at their ‘ideal job’ (Hays)
- The same survey by Hays found that 23% of those seeking a new job wouldn’t need a pay increase to take up a new position with a different company (Hays)
- Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organisation (Qualtrics)
- Burned out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times more likely to look for another job (Circular Board)
- Engaged employees are more likely to stay with their employer for longer. Businesses with an engaged workforce achieve around 24% lower staff turnover when compared to those with a poor employee engagement rate (Clevry)
- Gallup estimates that managers account for around a 70% variance in employee engagement across businesses. It seems that this variation is responsible (or at least responsible in part) for some of the poor employee engagement figures seen globally (Clevry)
- Only 23% of employees said that their company helps them minimise the environmental impact of their job, although this tends to be more down to company wide initiatives rather than personal, individual ones (PWC)
- 45% of respondents who aren’t able to work from home reported having less job satisfaction than their colleagues who can (PWC)
- 63% of respondents said they expect their company to offer either hybrid working or WFH in the next 12 months (PWC)
- 26% of employees surveyed said they would prefer to work fully remote, but only 18% thought their employer would adopt such a model (PWC)
- 50% of employees surveyed said being able to choose where to work was the most important factor when deciding whether to change jobs (PWC)
- According to Achievers.com, alignment with a company’s values is the number 1 predictor of employee engagement (Achievers)
- The most recent Gallup State of the Workplace survey found that 60% of people were emotionally detached at work and 19% are miserable! (Gallup)
- In Germany, 51% of actively disengaged workers said that stress at work had caused them to behave poorly with loved ones (Gallup)