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Why Employee Engagement is Important: 8 Ways to Increase Engagement

Employee engagement is on a continued decline. Q1 2024 has already seen a 3% dip with 17% of employees actively disengaged. 3% may seem insignificant, but it accounts for 4.8 million workers and an 11-year low in overall engagement. 

The decline in employee engagement has shown there is a need for better employee engagement strategies. 

What is Employee Engagement?

Gallup defines employee engagement as “the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace”. So, it’s not just about enthusiasm, it’s about the dedication and loyalty they feel to their employer. 

Employees need to be cared for, heard, and valued. When employees feel genuinely committed to their employer, it goes beyond simply enjoying what they do—it becomes a sense of pride and ownership in the organization’s success. 

Why Employee Engagement is Important?

Employee engagement links to productivity, employee retention, quality of work, profitability, even safety incidents and customer service. The decisions and actions your employees take impact your organization’s success. 

f your employees are not engaged, it impacts the workplace culture as well as the bottom line. Organizations need to prioritize employee engagement strategies and initiatives if they want to achieve sustainable success. 

Are you showing your employees that you care? Are you fostering a workplace culture that prioritizes employees and their needs?

Benefits of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement brings a host of benefits to the table. It impacts your bottom line, but it can also have a positive impact on your employees, making it a win-win. 

Employee engagement is linked to job satisfaction. Engaged employees find more enjoyment and fulfillment in their work, which naturally leads to a happier workplace. 

It can also have an impact on turnover rates. Engaged employees tend to stick around longer, mainly because they are more invested in the organization’s success. This can be an even bigger win as it saves companies money by cutting down on the costs associated with hiring and training new employees. 

Productivity gets a solid boost from engagement too. When people are genuinely into their work, they are more focused, motivated, and committed to achieving their goals and contributing to the organization’s success.

They are often more driven to knock it out of the park, as well. These are not just clock-watchers; they take pride in their work and invest themselves in delivering top-notch results.

It can even impact on your employees’ mental health. Disengaged employees are 45% more likely to be stressed daily. Your employees’ mental health can have a significant impact on their work and your employee retention rates. Engaged employees have 66% better well-being compared to disengaged employees.

Worried about safety in the workplace? Employee engagement plays a role here too. It can contribute to a safer work environment with fewer accidents and safety incidents. Why? Because engaged employees are more attentive and mindful. They are also more likely to adhere to safety protocols and procedures. 

Employee engagement nurtures a culture of excellence and high performance within an organization. Engaged employees are more likely to exhibit behaviors and habits that contribute to success.

And let us not forget the bottom line. Organizations with engaged workforces see 23% more profitability. It is simple math—when your team is more engaged, the company thrives.

Employee Engagement Strategies

It may be easy to lay blame on certain generations or the “remote work fad,” but top performing organizations who have 7x the national engagement average have made culture changes

Sometimes simple interactions with leaders and team members are enough to feel engaged and sometimes, they are not. 

What else can you do to initiate employee engagement strategies that make an impact?

1. Make Engagement a Priority

Prioritize engagement initiatives within the organization to foster a culture where employees feel valued and heard. 

2. Be Transparent

At my company, we focus on being transparent with our team and leading with positive leadership. This fosters a positive culture where employees feel valued and engaged. 

3. Stop Micromanaging

This is a hard habit to break. But you need to employ autonomy and be vigilant about removing micromanagement. Micromanaged employees feel undermined and stop trusting in their employers. It leads to poorer mental health and poorer results. 

4. Invest in Leaders

Give leadership the training and the opportunity to get better. Inexperienced leaders and minimal training are a recipe for low engagement. So, make sure your leadership is professionally trained and up to date. This can be done with on-site training, industry training courses, conferences, or even bringing in outside speakers and trainers to level up their knowledge. 

5. Determine the Issue

Do not just acknowledge there is an issue, identify it. Spend the time to help the teams struggling vs overthinking or making overarching changes for everyone. Bad managers cause a lot of low engagement.

6. Communicate

Be transparent and listen. We actively listen to our staff about where they are struggling and do something about it. But we also communicate how the work being done impacts the organization. It is a lot easier to do a hard job when you know the work has an impact.

7. Focus on Improvement

We use the aggregation of marginal gains. This is the idea that a 1% improvement across multiple areas can add up to tangible results. So, work to get a little bit better each day/week/month. Stop trying to fix the problem and address the issues and concerns on a micro level. 

8. Be Flexible

What employees want is so varied. Give them choices and options, not one size fits all mandates.

Employee Engagement Matters

Prioritizing employee engagement is vital for organizational success. It does not just improve workplace culture; it impacts performance metrics. If you want to reap the benefits of employee engagement, you need to proactively implement employee engagement strategies and make sure your employees feel valued. 

That is how you drive engagement and long-term growth. 

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