Why employee engagement matters
What is employee engagement?
Three main categories have been identified in terms of employee engagement: those employees who are engaged; those who are not engaged; and then those who are actively disengaged, who are unhappy and spread unhappiness through the organisation.
When individuals are engaged, they bring all aspects of themselves – physical, emotional and cognitive – to the performance of their work role.
It is more than just job satisfaction or organisational commitment – it is a holistic investment of personal energies in the experience of work. It is using one’s full self in work – being physically engaged, emotionally engaged, and mentally engaged – working with a passion and feeling a keen connection to the organisation.
An engaged workforce benefits everyone – organisations, employees and customers all win
Employee engagement is vital to an organisation’s success, sustainability, and competitive advantage.
How well an organisation engages its employees will have a direct impact on how well it performs in terms of productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction, brand image, and employee absenteeism and turnover.
An engaged workforce improves customer loyalty, lowers costs, increases performance, and overall positively impacts the bottom line.
The benefits don’t stop at the organisation level either. Employees experience personal benefits from being engaged at their work including:
Pay and advancement
A number of studies have had success showing that engaged employees perform better than their less-engaged counterparts. They work harder and smarter and are able to achieve better results. This, in turn, can translate into better career opportunities, higher earnings, and accelerated advancement.
While they are two different things, employee engagement and happiness are related. Those who are fully engaged in what they do and the organisations they work for are also much more likely to be happy. Employee engagement is based on some very human needs being met in our work: meaningfulness; trusting and supportive interpersonal relationships; and the availability of tools and resources. When needs such as these are met, levels of happiness are seen to increase.
Safety and wellbeing
Research shows that engaged employees have a lower chance of experiencing an accident or safety incident at work than disengaged employees. They display what academics describe as vigour, dedication and absorption towards their work. They have high levels of attention to what they are doing, energy and persistence at tasks, feelings of involvement, enthusiasm and pride, and experience being engrossed in their work whereby time passes quickly. Being engaged does not mean sacrificing work-life balance either. Being fully engaged allows a person to get more out of their workday while feeling energised, attentive, and committed to what they are doing.
Create the conditions in which employees can give of their best each day, providing more of their capability and potential. Employee engagement can be nurtured, developed and dramatically increased. Employee engagement matters, and those who prioritise it benefit most – it increases the chances of success – for the organisation, its employees, and its customers.