What is Engagement and How Can You Influence It?
Companies are renowned for stating, “Our employees are our best assets!” In fact, studies show that employers who invest in employee engagement earn a greater “return” on those assets – to the tune of a 23-per-cent increase in performance against revenue expectations, as compared to organizations that have low engagement “capital.” When companies invest in this type of support, employees are more likely to go the extra mile for their employers and establish greater results towards both the company’s bottom line and organizational goals. Organizations with a greater focus on employee engagement see a positive influence on customer satisfaction, productivity, absenteeism, turnover and support for the organization.
However, knowing this and doing something about it are two different things. The Corporate Leadership Council’s 2011 Human Resources Insight study revealed that while 70 per cent of business leaders surveyed said employee engagement was critical to achieving business objectives, only 20 per cent of those leaders felt their engagement initiatives were driving business outcomes.
What can be done to improve employee-engagement levels?
Recognize that satisfaction and engagement are two different, but related and constantly changing things.
Satisfaction tends to be focused on how employees feel about their job and conditions, including compensation, benefits, work environment and career development opportunities. The typical focus in employee satisfaction trends more toward improvements of morale, with the goal of increasing retention. Employee engagement, however, is all about an employees’ commitment and connection to their employer. This is most often measured by how much they are willing to go above and beyond their core job responsibilities; that is, innovating and thinking outside the box to move their organizations forward.
While both satisfaction and engagement are important to help the organization achieve a competitive advantage, knowing and acknowledging that satisfied employees may not necessarily be engaged employees is an important first step in achieving the benefits of engagement.
A study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management in 2012 found that while 81 per cent of U.S. employees surveyed reported overall satisfaction with their jobs, yet were only moderately engaged at work.
Check out part three of this blog to find out what else can be done to improve employee engagement levels.