In 2020, Gallup conducted the world’s largest study on employee engagement — taking a deep dive into the experiences of 100,000 teams to identify the ties between engagement and 11 specific performance outcomes. The study was done, in part, to validate Gallup’s widely known Gallup Q12 which offers a framework for evaluating and improving employee engagement.
Inspirus has long-known that engagement matters — Gallup has proved it. We’d like to share why.
Employee Engagement Matters
Companies widely recognize that employee engagement is an essential strategy for business success. They often struggle, though, to create a culture that supports engagement. Employee and customer engagement are integrally connected. To boost performance, companies need to:
- Increase customer base and profitability. Successful companies know that success isn’t just about attracting new customers — it’s also about retaining the customer they already have and increasing the profitability from both of these groups.
- Create an extraordinary brand experience. Customers won’t keep coming back to a company if their brand experience is not exceptional. This is especially true in an environment where consumers have increasing choices and ready access to goods and services around the globe, all at their fingertips.
- Transform to a digital environment and solutions. When the pandemic hit in 2020, companies that already had a digital presence had an edge over those that didn’t. Since then, most companies have transformed to a digital environment and now offer digital solutions for customers.
- Reduce customer and employee attrition. Companies don’t want to lose customers or employees. A focus on both is critical for sustained success.
- Leverage data to optimize operations. Leaders today have access to a wide range of data points and information. Leveraging that intelligence will help them improve their operations to be more productive, cost-effective, and profitable.
Achieving these objectives requires a powerful team of productive employees.
Engaged Employees are Productive
Engaged employees are the holy grail for any company regardless of its size or the goods and services it provides.
When employees are engaged, organizations realize fewer negative outcomes. According to Gallup, organizations with engaged employees realize:
Each of these drives profits directly to the bottom line.
- 43% less turnover
- 41% fewer quality defects
- 81% less absenteeism
In addition, companies with an engaged workforce see more positive outcomes such as:
- 18% greater productivity
- 41% higher employee wellbeing
- 23% greater profitability
Those are the kind of benefits that all companies are looking for in this era of global competition and increasingly higher customer expectations.
Unfortunately, engagement levels at many organizations are dismal.
Worldwide Employee Engagement Levels
For many companies, the news related to employee engagement levels is not good. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report: “18% are actively disengaged in their work and workplace, while 67% are ‘not engaged.” Gallup cites the "economic consequences of this global ‘norm'" as being a key driver of this loss of engagement.
In addition, their research indicates that only 15% of employees are engaged, meaning they are passionate about their jobs and feel connections to the organizations where they work. They’re innovative and help to drive the company forward.
Contrast that with the aggregate 85% of employees who are disengaged. These employees do the bare minimum without emotion or spirit. They are part of the “numb majority.” Worse, they are also likely to actively undermine others.
So, what can you do to turn disengaged employees into engaged employees? A number of things.
Turning Disengaged Employees Into Engaged Employees
Companies have an opportunity to impact the levels of engagement among their employees. There are a number of things they can do. For instance:
- Build community and foster employee connections. This has been challenging during the pandemic for many organizations that are operating in remote or hybrid environments. But technology can be a great aid here. Consider using a fun, user-friendly recognition hub that employees can easily use to stay connected with each other — no matter where they’re working.
- Keep a “spotlight” on company news, values, and vision. It’s important to continually communicate purpose to employees to help them see how what they do fits in, and helps to drive positive performance.
- Celebrate individual and team achievements. Celebrating successes is important, whether those successes are individual, due to department or division efforts, or through cross-company teams coming together to accomplish a goal. In addition to formal recognition from the company, supervisors and managers, consider providing easy ways for employees to recognize each other through peer-to-peer or “on-the-spot” recognition.
- Recognize service anniversary milestones. Longevity with a company is often a sign of engagement. Recognize their commitment by celebrating contributions and spreading gratitude for the work they do and the value you place on those who have committed one, five, ten, or more years to your organization.
- Foster an inclusive culture. Engaged employees are employees who feel included in the fabric of the organization. They feel they matter. They feel they fit in. Again, as with building community, in a remote or hybrid work environment cloud-based technology that is available to all can be a great way to weave in an inclusive culture.
Interested in learning more about ways you can boost — and maintain — employee engagement? Talk to one of our rewards and recognition specialists today!
The contents of this blog is also available as an infographic! Download it here!