With the ever increasing demand to do more with less, it has never been more important to maximise workforce investments. Labour costs are one of the highest expenses for most organisations, yet so many business leaders fail to see how they can get more from their human capital investments.

The challenge is engaging our staff – an ongoing task!

Highly Engaged employees have a significant impact on bottom line performance. A study by Towers Perrin of 50 multinational companies found that the companies with high levels of engagement outperformed those with a less engaged workforce. These results were in the areas of operating income, net income growth and earnings per share. So there is proof that companies with engaged employees have a more efficient and innovative workforce and deliver higher financial performance, they find it easier to attract top talent and are able to retain talented staff.

With so much research demonstrating the importance of Employee Engagement, why are so many boards failing to act? Research from Gartner suggests that most executive boards ignore the impact of engagement on organisational performance. I believe that is because some leaders misinterpret Employee Engagement.

What is employee engagement?

Some managers believe that employee engagement relates to Employee satisfaction or happiness but that’s not the case. The Boston Consulting Group define it as:

Employee engagement can be described as the willingness of employees to go the extra mile for an organisation, not merely out of obligation or for a paycheque, but because work matters both personally and professionally to them.

Engaged employees deliver more to the organisation in the area of:

  • Efficiency
  • Innovation and sharing ideas
  • Focus
  • Sales and referrals
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Employee wellbeing

What drives engagement?

With so much research on the importance of Employee Engagement, how can we improve it?

  • Career development opportunities
  • Financial and external incentives
  • On-going performance management
  • Relationship to direct manager
  • Feeling they have a voice and are appreciated
  • A focus on motivation
  • Reputation of the employer (brand)
  • Constant communication across the business from Leadership
  • Job/task KPI’s aligned to Business goals

Continual monitoring of Employee Engagement is required and that’s because emotions and feelings are involved. An Employees’ personal circumstances may change or a co-worker may leave which can impact their engagement levels.

When Employee Engagement becomes valued within the organisation, managers at all levels will be more aware of the importance of communication and respect for employees.

I think you will agree there is a business case for developing a highly engaged workforce. I hope this article will inspire you to consider measuring and monitoring engagement. If you need help or would like to discuss the topic further please don’t hesitate to contact me on 1800 104 899