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Why employee engagement matters

Written 08 April, 2019, 3 minutes to read

Employee engagement is one of the single most important factors for any workplace. It’s what makes people committed to your organization, emotionally invested in its success, and prepared to work hard to achieve their goals. But since it’s often hard to quantify, many companies aren’t aware of how it impacts their productivity and efficiency. Here’s exactly why employee engagement matters – and why prioritizing it will always be crucial for success.

Employee engagement increases profitability

Prioritizing employee engagement is one of the most sensible long-term investments a company can make. An engaged team will easily outclass a disengaged team – any time, any place. Recent research by Gallup showed that it can also bolster financial resilience: surveyed companies who prioritized engagement gained a viable advantage that allowed them to continue to progress, even during tough times. They had higher earnings and bounced back from the recession much more quickly than those who downplayed the importance of employee engagement.

Employee engagement improves employee retention

It should come as no surprise that engaged employees are far more likely to remain in their jobs when compared to disengaged employees. A workforce made up of keen, motivated people who genuinely care about their jobs is more robust – employees are more likely to show loyalty to their organization and actually invest in what they’re doing. And it’s something multiple studies confirm: one major study found that engaged employees were a staggering 87% less likely to leave.

In contrast, disengaged employees are more likely to see their job as a paycheck, happy to jump ship when it suits them. It’s not just costly for company culture; recruiting and hiring replacements can seriously eat into your budget.

Employee engagement keeps employees connected

What do all the best, most collabortative workplaces have in common? Yep, you guessed it… engaged employees. As human beings, it’s important for us to feel connected to something that’s bigger than ourselves. We want to feel in sync with others, and part of a group that values us. When employees feel connected to the company culture, communication is boosted and productivity is enhanced: they don’t view it as “us versus them”… it’s just “us”.

Engaged employees flourish partly because of the bonds and friendships that they’ve cultivated at work. They’re actually happy to spend time with their colleagues, and prepared to go the extra mile to get work done. When employees aren’t engaged, not only is work “just a job”, but productive work relationships suffer – team members are mere colleagues, rather than a supportive network helping them produce meaningful work.

Employee engagement increases productivity

If people are engaged and motivated at work, they simply work harder and do a better job. Not only are they more invested in the company and their own performance, but collaboration is easier and absences are reduced (more on that next!). And the effect this has on productivity can be immense: one study found that engaged workforces outperformed disengaged ones by 202%!

Employee engagement means healthier, happier employees

The link between employee engagement and happiness has long been suggested, and its correlation is undeniable: 86% of engaged workers say they frequently feel happy at work, whilst only 11% of disengaged workers feel the same. And this isn’t due to external factors, since a further 45% of those engaged workers stated it was work specifically that gave them happiness!

But did you know that engagement also has an effect on employee health? Sickness and absenteeism are significantly increased among unmotivated workforces: disengaged employees average 6.5 sicks days each year compared to the 2.7 days taken by engaged employees. But it goes further: in one report, more than half of disengaged workers said their work adversely affected their health, causing them to feel stressed or behave badly with friends and family.

But there’s even more – companies with disengaged employees see 62% more accidents. So ignoring employee engagement is really something you do at your peril!

Want a more engaged workforce? See how to increase employee engagement for the long-term

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