The Benefits of Keeping Your Workforce Engaged (Infographic)
Businesses are increasingly beginning to realize that the key to keeping a customer happy lies in having happy employees.
A study undertaken by Gallup in 2016 shows that only 33% of employees in the U.S. were actually enthusiastic about their jobs. Not good! The disengagement costs the country between $450 and $550 billion annually.
Motivation is Key
It’s not a difficult leap to see how a motivated workforce drives company growth, as it directly affects higher productivity, increased employee loyalty and increased profitability. It also results in lower absenteeism and fewer safety incidents.
Gallup has reported that an engaged and committed workforce is 17% more productive, on average. When people feel satisfied, they are likely to also feel more connected to the company, which leads to high-quality work that is beneficial for both the customer and the business.
An additional reason why investing in employees’ satisfaction is worthwhile is that the hiring process is costly and time-consuming. It is, therefore, recommended to invest in the development of the employees, rather than trying all over again with different people.
Respect and Profitability
When employees judge they are being respected by the higher-ups, they are likely to reciprocate the sentiment and also feel a sense of responsibility in getting the job done well.
People work harder when they know their work will be rewarded, which results in better products that resonate with the customers.
It’s an everlasting process, really. A happy employee produces good work making the customers happy, and happy customers keep coming back and referring their friends to the business.
Put this way, it is a simple approach to increasing the productivity of a business, so why do numerous companies keep looking for new people instead of investing in the development of their employees?
The question doesn’t seem to have a satisfying answer, but the fact remains true nevertheless.
Lower Absenteeism and Absolute Loyalty
An engaged workforce goes gladly to the office every day and gets more work done.
The main issue with disengaged employees lies in their not feeling a sense of responsibility towards the business, which translates into them not bothering to show up when they don’t feel like it.
By contrast, engaged employees feel responsible for their work and company success, so they’ll come to work continuously and work on boosting their performance.
Finally, engaged employees are loyal to the company. They speak highly of it in all contexts and don’t look for a better job elsewhere.
Increased Productivity and Sales
An engaged workforce will be motivated to solve any issue that might come along the way. That applies not only to business conundrums, but also to small tasks.
When was the last time you saw a colleague buy an office plant?
When was the last time you heard a colleague propose an innovative approach to a complex task?
If the answer to either or both is “at some point,” that means that the colleague was actually trying to make the workplace more enjoyable for everyone. The action translates both into engagement and satisfaction.
Engaged employees work more diligently and are inspired to think outside of the box to make their work stand out, and not in the sense of colleague competition. An engaged workforce joins efforts to make the workplace pleasant for the entire team.
These actions directly affect higher sales, as increased productivity and quality are the two key ingredients to long-term business success. Gallup has reported 20% higher sales in engaged environments as compared to the disengaged ones.
Engaged Managers Inspire People
Numerous studies show that managers going out of their way to build trust and respect inspire employees to continually perform better. The practice is more often seen in younger people, up to 30, possibly due to generational traits.
Managers communicating a clear strategy and helping employees along these steps are certain to inspire people, as they will feel both motivated and secure. It is a well-known fact that people losing direction become disengaged quickly, so it is important to communicate that they are not alone in their efforts.
Examples of the practice are seen in agile environments, of which Spotify is a representative example. Inspired by R&D management, Spotify has invented a unique organizational model with squads, tribes, chapters and guilds. Simplicity, focus and transparency are key strengths the company aims to build by agile scaling, which includes all employees - from top to bottom.
Spotify’s Organizational Coach, Anders Ivarsson, argues that having that kind of agile mindset from the top level all the way down is what drives success in the long run.
This is just one example, with more and more businesses realizing the importance of agility and innovative scaling. Various studies show that leaders motivating people are better rated by the employees than leaders driving for results.
Leaders actively motivating their subordinates directly affect their development is the action that results in a better trained, engaged workforce that performs better overall. In an active environment, employees will look for the opportunity to develop new competencies. A good manager will enable them to achieve their goal.
Finally, leaders who are open to feedback are certain to perform better, inspiring their subordinates along the way. This practice tells the workforce that they everyone needs some improvements, which goes hand in hand with the innovative scaling mentioned above.
Are Your Employees Engaged?
Sometimes, it is difficult to tell whether a workforce is engaged, for numerous reasons. However, there is a simple way to check this out and apply appropriate measures if there is room for improvement.
Namely, the Employee Net Promoter Score is one good way to find this out. Originally used to measure customer loyalty, the scale is nowadays equally efficient in determining employees’ engagement.
Another method is pulse surveys. The survey should be short (include 5 to 10 questions), frequent in coming (i.e., weekly), anonymous and specific.
Methods for boosting employee engagement vary and include regular feedback, continual recognition, a proper onboarding, growth opportunities and superb perks.