Employee engagement is very important to any organization. However, before explaining why we need employee engagement, we must first define engaging and what it means to an organization.
How Do We Define Engaging
Engaging employees does not necessarily refer to the satisfaction or the overall happiness of employees (although employees who are engaged are often more satisfied in the workforce than those who are not).
Employee engagement can be defined simply as the commitment an employee has to its organization, that organization’s goals, and values that will eventually lead to its success. Employees who are engaged in the workplace don’t just do the minimum amount of work required of them.
Two factors that correspond with engaged employees are attitude and behavior. Engaged employees are often the ones that work extra hours and offer to volunteer more time to the organization without being asked. Their attitude evokes pride for their organization and this leads to a change in their behavior for the better. They work hard to better the organization as a whole in any way possible.
Encourage Employee Engagement
How to Engage Your Employees
Having, and incorporating a mission statement into every action in the workplace greatly benefits employees. The organizational culture of the workplace is based on this mission statement. If an organization really wants to succeed at creating an engaging workspace, employees need to live the mission everyday. However, that is not the only way to increase employee engagement within an organization’s workforce.
Zappos is widely known for having great customer service, as well as high employee engagement. They will agree that the key to engaging employees is to give them some autonomy in the workplace. Zappos workers are allowed to refund customers, upgrade shipping, or even send customers extra gifts or benefits for being loyal customers. Giving employees freedom to make their own decisions allows them to go the extra mile to succeed.
Along with independence, in order to maintain an engaged workforce, an organization has to support its employee’s decisions. When employees are given the opportunity to make their own choices, their employer needs to follow through with encouragement and allow them to continue with those decisions by supporting them.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important to Your Business
Creating an organizational culture in which employees are engaged can make a huge difference to any workplace. They add value to the organization and enrich the experience as a whole. Not only do engaged employees lead to a workforce full of hard workers, but they also greatly increase the revenue of the organization they work for.
Engaged employees are interested in advocating for their company while on and off the job, and an engaged employee is eager to tell others about their organization in order to help the success of their workplace.
Why Your Employees Might Not Be Engaging
According to a Gallup Poll on employee engagement, only 31.5 percent of Americans in 2014 stated that they were engaged in the workplace. This leaves a total of 68.5 percent of employees who were either not engaged, or who were actively disengaged at work. Gallup defines employees who are not engaged as “checked out.” They’re the ones who are “sleepwalking through their workday, putting time — but not energy or passion — into their work.” Even worse, actively disengaged employees aren’t just unsatisfied in the workplace; they vocalize their unhappiness constantly. These employees undermine everything their engaged coworkers accomplish at any time possible.
Although engagement is at its highest percent since 2000 at 31.5 percent, this is still less than one-third of all workers in the United States. Gallup defines engaged employees as those who “work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.” However, employing workers like this seems nearly impossible when, according to the U.S. State of the Global Workplace Gallup Poll, only 41 percent [SB1] of U.S. employees strongly agree that they know what their company stands for.
Integrating an organization’s mission statement into every aspect of the job helps employees understand what cause they are actually a part of. If an organization is unable to live their mission statement, how will its employees know how to promote the brand with integrity? Many employees are disengaged simply because they don’t understand the values declared within their organization’s mission.
Engaged employees lead to an improved organizational culture. They also lead to overall better business. Engaged employees lead to higher productivity, increased sales, and eventually higher profits overall. Former Campbell’s Soup CEO, Doug Conant said, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” An organization with high employee engagement is essential to building a successful business.
Simply utilize the tools already present in any organization: people.