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Unlocking Growth: The Power of Employee Engagement

Numerous surveys have found that employees are generally not engaged with their work, and companies with high engagement levels tend to outperform their peers. Enhance your engagement by partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). 

Improving engagement is critical to becoming a top-performing company. Let's dive into the key benefits of employee engagement, how it impacts business growth, and the strategies for improving engagement. 

Engaging Employees: Unlocking the Power Within 

When comparing companies with the most engaged employees to those with the least engaged, the differences are striking. According to Gallup, top-performing companies enjoy many benefits, including: 

  • 81% lower absenteeism 
  • 18% - 43% lower turnover 
  • 41% fewer quality defects 
  • 18% higher sales productivity 
  • 28% less shrinkage 

Engaged employees contribute to greater customer loyalty and, more importantly, lead to a 23% increase in profitability, including higher earnings per share. On the other hand, it's estimated that disengaged employees cost U.S. organizations as much as $550 billion per year, while worldwide, it adds up to more than $8 trillion in lost revenue - about 9% of total global GDP. 

In addition to these measurable impacts, motivated and engaged employees provide other, less tangible, but crucial benefits to organizations. 

Creativity & Innovation 

The business world is constantly evolving. Consumer habits and preferences are changing, and technology is advancing rapidly. New competitors and products are constantly entering the market. Engaging employees is crucial to fostering innovative and creative thinking. This helps organizations, products, and services to adapt and thrive in changing environments. 

Change Management 

According to the Harvard Business Review, the average employee has undergone ten significant changes in the past year, including restructuring, retooling, and redefining business processes. While change has become the new normal, it has started to take a toll on employees. Gartner notes that in 2016, 74% of employees supported change initiatives in the workplace, but now only 38% do. Supporting employees effectively through times of change is crucial as it has a direct impact on their engagement with the company. 

Collaborative and Inclusive Culture 

Organizational culture plays a significant role in employee engagement and vice versa. A strong workplace culture keeps employees engaged, and once engaged, the employees help drive and maintain the culture. 

Culture impacts many areas, including: 

  • Motivation: Engaged teams are more motivated. A survey by the American Psychological Association reported that employees who feel valued by their employers are three times as likely to be motivated. 
  • Collaboration: Engaged employees are more likely to collaborate and work together effectively as a team. Trust and relationships lead to better communication and workflow. 
  • Ethics: More engaged employees do the right thing. 
  • A sense of purpose: An engaging culture provides employees with a clear sense of purpose and connects their work to the desired outcomes. This helps employees understand the significance of their work and how it aligns with company goals. 
  • Participation: Companies with strong cultures appreciate contributions and ideas from all employees, which leads to increased participation. 

When employees understand the mission and their role and feel valued, it enhances engagement and job satisfaction. 

Cumulative Impact 

Organizations with highly engaged employees experience long-term benefits. When new hires witness their colleagues' high level of engagement, they are more likely to also become engaged. This compounding effect leads to greater engagement across the entire organization and perpetuates a culture of future engagement. 

Enhance Employee Engagement 

HR teams need to ensure that their workforce is actively engaged. Business leaders understand the importance of employee engagement levels, but there is still a gap among employers when it comes to taking proactive steps to improve engagement. While 90% of business leaders acknowledge that improving employee engagement is crucial to success, only a quarter have a strategy. Get ahead of the competition by putting a strategy into place that will not only engage current employees but attract new, high-caliber, employees too. 

HR Tactics to Boost Engagement 

Keeping employees engaged is a challenging task. It takes a consistent and proactive approach to create the right environment. The four key areas that are essential for engagement are: 

  • Community: A sense of belonging 
  • Opportunity: Opportunities for growth and development 
  • Purpose: Knowing that their contributions matter 
  • Balance: Measure of autonomy and flexibility 

Engaged employees rate their employers highly in these four areas. So, what does it take to achieve these goals?  

Listed below are essential HR strategies to improve engagement: 

  • Open Communication and Clarity
    • When employees are well-informed about company strategies and changes, they become more invested in the organization's success. Leaders should prioritize frequent communication and encourage two-way dialogue. Regular discussions, especially during periods of change, are crucial for ensuring employee understanding. Effective communication also requires setting clear goals and ensuring employees understand how their job relates to company goals. Clear objectives tied to strategic priorities help keep team members focused. By keeping management focused on outcomes, employers can grant employees greater autonomy to achieve goals and create greater engagement. 
  • Learning and Development 
    • Employees are increasingly aware of the impending changes in the workplace. News outlets frequently report on worrisome statistics, including the prediction that 14 million jobs will disappear in the next five years (CNN), 44% of work skills will be disrupted (World Economic Forum), and 75% of Americans are concerned about widespread job losses (Morning Consult). These reports contribute to a sense of unease among employees, making it difficult for them to fully engage in their work when worried about job security. In response to these concerns, employees seek ways to ensure they have the necessary skills to thrive. Employers can alleviate these fears and improve engagement by fostering a continuous culture of learning within the workplace. Job seekers actively seek out environments where growth and development are prioritized.
  • Employee Appreciation
    • Engagement levels rise when employees feel appreciated. Organizations and managers that acknowledge employee contributions and achievements see enhanced productivity. Personalized recognition and rewards reinforce the value employees bring to their organization, ultimately fostering a strong workplace community and a sense of purpose.
  • Employee Wellbeing
    • As the job site Zippia reported, 72% of job seekers consider work-life balance a crucial factor when choosing a job. This should be no surprise to HR leaders, as employee burnout levels have reached record highs. Worker shortages, unfilled job positions, layoffs, and wage concerns have all had a significant impact. In response to these challenges, companies need to help employees in achieving a better work-life balance. This often involves offering flexibility in scheduling and prioritizing output over hours worked. For many companies, this means updating their pay, policies, and benefits to meet modern needs. Hybrid and remote work arrangements have become more common over the past few years, alongside an increased focus on employee wellbeing programs. 
  • Performance Reviews
    • The traditional annual review process is no longer sufficient. While discussions about work performance and career goals are still meaningful, they should happen more than once a year. Regular feedback helps to keep employees engaged and helps their professional growth. It also shows a genuine interest in their development. 
  • Ethics
    • Employees want to work for organizations that behave ethically. They notice when managers and leaders do not adhere to company values and act with integrity. Today, employees are more concerned about social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, fair treatment, and sustainability. They expect organizations to take a stand and uphold the standards they strive to achieve. 

Improve Human Capital Management with Support from a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) 

A successful employee engagement strategy can be a difficult challenge to face alone, especially given the fast-paced and ever-evolving talent market.  

Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) offer proven workplace solutions for HR, benefits, and employee engagement that can help you build a culture that drives significant growth. 

Ready to take employee engagement to the next level? Connect with the OneDigital Resourcing Edge team for support with your human resource capital management needs.