Employee engagement refers to the level of mental and emotional attachment employees have to their jobs, their teams, and their company. It also refers to an employee’s emotional commitment to the organisation and its goals.
Employees who are emotionally invested care about the job and organisation they work for. They don’t work for a paycheck or the next promotion; instead, they work to achieve the organisation’s objectives.
According to Wikipedia, “One who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and thus takes positive action to further the organisation’s reputation and interests. Employees who are engaged have a positive attitude toward the company and its values. A disengaged employee, on the other hand, can range from someone who is doing the bare minimum at work (known as ‘coasting’) to someone who is actively harming the company’s work output and reputation.”
Employee engagement leads to better business results. According to Towers Perrin research, organisations with engaged employees have 6% higher net profit margins, and according to Kenexa research, engaged businesses have five times higher shareholder returns over five years.
Employee engagement is a critical indicator of job satisfaction. Today, employees want to be engaged in their work, enthusiastic about the organisation for which they work, feel a sense of belonging, and have scheduling and location flexibility.
Belonging is a top priority in the most recent Global Human Capital Trends survey, with 79 per cent of respondents stating that fostering a sense of belonging among employees was critical to their organisation’s success in the next 12–18 months, and 93 per cent agreeing that a sense of belonging drives organisational performance.
Employee engagement is a strategic business objective more than ever because engaged employees result in long-term retention, increased productivity, and higher quality of work. Despite the fact that employee engagement is viewed positively throughout the organisation, the majority of the workers are disengaged at work. Gallup data indicates that the total percentage of engaged workers will reach 39% in 2021, up from 36% in 2020. Low engagement can be attributed to various factors, including a lack of recognition from managers, ineffective company communication, and a lack of alignment with the company’s mission.
Any organisation has three different types of employees:
- Engaged (15% of the workforce):
These employees are devoted to the organisation and emotionally invested in it. They are in positions where they thrive, and their abilities are fully utilised. They invest themselves enthusiastically in their work and take on accountabilities that are not part of their job description. They are more likely to develop into emerging leaders and stay with an organisation significantly longer than disengaged employees.
- Not engaged (67% of the workforce).
These employees can be hard to identify since they are frequently content with their current position. However, they perform menial tasks and are uninvolved in the company’s mission, vision, values, or goals. They are less likely to be customer-focused and are unconcerned with employee productivity and profitability. These team members represent both a threat and an opportunity – because, with the right approach, they can be transformed into engaged employees who thrive within the organisation.
- Actively Disengaged (18% of the workforce
We have all collaborated with these individuals. They are perpetually negative, foster a toxic work environment, dominate their manager’s time, and are frequently vocal about their dissatisfaction. Worse yet, they are commonly respected subject matter experts with a specialised skill set. And as a result, they often wield significant influence over others. These employees have a high potential for spreading toxicity throughout the organisation and are rarely transformed into true “A” players.
Employee engagement, according to the majority of studies, has a direct effect on productivity and profitability. That may seem self-evident, but many managers continue to struggle to define, measure, and improve team engagement.
So, why is employee engagement so crucial? Does it really matter?
You are probably familiar with the phrase.
“Would the last person to leave please turn off the lights?”
However, have you ever wondered why some employees are the last to leave? If it isn’t obvious causes such as too much work or an impending deadline, it could be that the work environment is such that putting in extra time doesn’t feel like work at all, and late hours don’t seem to matter much either. If your company culture motivates employees to go the extra yard or to turn on the light on their way out at night, you’re onto something. Employee engagement, or employees who are emotionally invested in their company and its success, significantly impacts an organisation’s bottom line. Engagement at a high level can boost employee productivity and leave customers smiling. Are you still not convinced?
Here are a few reasons why employee engagement is crucial
In “how the Best Places to Work” are Nailing Employee Engagement, Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith of PageUp People describes how employees value “simple connections and involvement” as well as being a part of a larger picture. A culture that fosters connection and alignment with the company’s values fosters communication, dialogue, and a high level of employee input. Unsurprisingly, engaged employees grow in part due to the workplace’s connectivity and relationships. They develop relationships with their colleagues through robust, challenging conversations. Connected employees frequently spend time with coworkers outside of work, and all of these interactions help strengthen their loyalty to the company.
Higher Rates of Employee Retention
Employees who are engaged are less likely to leave and seek work elsewhere. In 2013, TalentKeepers, an award-winning engagement solutions provider, discovered that engaged employees have a lower turnover rate than their disengaged peers. Due to the added expense of recruiting and hiring replacements, retention was also identified as a strategic focus for the vast majority of companies polled. To retain top talent, managers must create an environment that encourages employees to remain engaged in all aspects of their jobs.
Stronger Management Teams
Low levels of employee engagement can result in negative perceptions of management and a genuine lack of understanding among employees regarding the company’s strategic direction. According to author Leigh Branam in The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave,
“Employees in too many organisations look at their senior managers and see self-interested, short-term-focused, ego-driven greed.”
Without employee support, management teams of growing businesses will struggle to gain momentum, expand, and innovate. They withdraw their support and cease to assist the management team. They may even lose track of the corporate mission in the worst-case scenario.
Therefore, if your employees rush for the exits at the end of the workday, leaving you to turn off the lights, it may be time to reconsider your employee engagement strategy. There is a great deal at stake. Employee engagement has a pervasive effect on every aspect of the corporate culture, has a financial impact, and can catalyse customer loyalty.
Employee engagement is critical, and there is no better time than the present to put it at the top of your bucket list.
Strategies for employee engagement
Measure and set goals
How can you improve employee engagement if you cannot quantify it? This starts with establishing specific and clearly defined goals from the start. Let us begin at the very beginning of the procedure.
By establishing goals for employee engagement, you can track the degree to which engagement increases. Once you have accomplished your objective, you will have a benchmark to strive for in order to maintain consistently high levels of engagement.
But how can you do it?????
To begin, conduct an employee survey. This way, you will be able to determine how engaged your employees are on a daily basis and, once you have analysed the data, you will be able to set goals for what you want to accomplish.
After a specified time period, you can resend the survey to your employees to determine which areas have improved and which have not. If you are unsure how to establish specific, measurable goals, take the DIRECT approach.
Lead by an Example
Please take a second look at yourself before focusing on your employees and their engagement. Do you see someone who is as engaged as you wish your teams to be? If the answer is “no,” you may find it challenging to increase employee engagement.
You should set an excellent example and serve as a role model for your employees. You are referred to as a leader for a reason; you set the standard. When it comes to engagement, you must establish yourself as the most engaged individual in the room.
Often, a leader will focus on improving their team’s performance while neglecting their own shortcomings. When it comes to increasing engagement, if you come to meetings expecting your team to be enthusiastic but bring none, your employees may begin to feel held to an unfair standard.
It’s also critical to pause and consider the activities you want your team to participate in. Too frequently, leaders expect their team to engage with their ideas but fail to reciprocate.
Great leaders constantly assess their performance and hold themselves to the same standards as their teams. By evaluating your own practices on a regular basis, you set the example of self-reflection and contribute to creating an environment in which your employees begin to consider how they work and how they can improve. There is no doubt that when your employees see their leader making an effort to enhance, their engagement will increase as well.
Challenge and build your Team
Team building is an excellent way to get started on the path to high employee engagement. Suppose your company, department, or group of employees views itself as a team. In that case, they are likely to be much more engaged with the organisation than if they consider themselves solely as coworkers. It’s easy to believe this comes naturally because they spend so much time together in the office, but building a team – a dedicated team that is connected and communicates with one another – typically takes time. There are several ways to begin team building in your company or department to increase your engagement with your employees and encourage them to be more engaged with one another.
One of the primary reasons your employees may be disengaged is a lack of challenge in their work. Suppose your employees are not challenged in their jobs and arrive each day feeling too at ease. This will almost certainly result in your team slipping into a state of automaticity, where they stop pushing themselves to achieve higher levels of performance.
Consider a time when you did not feel challenged at work. Were you motivated to succeed? I am guessing you weren’t, and this is precisely how your employees feel when you fail to provide them with opportunities to grow.
Challenging your teams does not mean inundating them with work beyond their level of training or outside their area of expertise. This will only serve to demotivate them and result in a decrease in engagement.
Fun Employee Engagement Activities
There are numerous strategies for engaging employees, but the objective should always be to priorities activities that put employees first.
Employees enjoy team-building activities, particularly those that take place outside the office. Laser tag, go-cart racing, bowling, and brewery and winery tours are all available. These types of activities will foster bonding outside of the workplace and provide common ground for employees.
The majority of firms host annual summer and winter parties to commemorate another year of operation. Additional festivities such as Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dinners, and other celebratory events reinforce the impression that the company values its customers. Two annual parties are sufficient, but they must be counted. For instance, ensure that these events are attended by families, significant others, and spouses. To save money, host a daytime party or barter for the services of other businesses.
Employees enjoy participating in games, tournaments, and competitions. Consider hosting a ping pong or pool tournament or organising a bake-off for the office. Some offices host 5K races and other sporting events. Even establishing an office-wide fantasy football league can benefit your organisation’s employees.
KissTheFrogNOW as a new Employee Engagement Activity
Engaged employees who are enthusiastic about their jobs are ideal for managers. These people make it simple for you to perform your duties effectively. The bottom line is that devoting sufficient time, money, and resources to employee engagement activities will increase motivation and improve employee retention, ultimately making your workplace more efficient and productive.
To leave the workplace and enter an environment conducive to collaboration, communication, connection building and good old fashioned fun. KissTheFrogNOW has carved out a significant niche in employee engagement strategies. The employee engagement activity is distinctive and mentally stimulating for the team members participating in it. KissTheFrogNOW games provide an opportunity for team members to get into an environment that fosters collaboration, communication, connection building, and – above all else – reasonable old-fashioned enjoyment.
The employee engagement activities included in the tool help participants feel more engaged towards the organisation and feel more a part of the group due to their participation. Additionally, it aims to assist you in becoming more engaged with your work and understanding your fellow teammates. By imitating and exercising confrontation in a non-harmful manner, you can gain insight into the minds of your teammates. With enough practice, you will be able to control your own emotions and the emotions of your coworkers, and you will quickly rise to the position of the most valuable member of your team! This will assist you in your quest to become the most engaged employee.
KissTheFrogNOW is founded on the belief that developing and engaging teams as groups of people who can rely on one another are critical to organisational success.
You are well on your way to ensuring your teams’ success now that you understand how meaningful employee engagement is and the critical strategies for increasing it. Keep in mind that great leaders first look to improve their own engagement and then set specific goals before implementing any other approaches.
Engage your employees and watch your company thrive as a team!