Employees are the biggest assets for any organization; hence they invest considerable time and effort in hiring the best. However, it might not be enough to achieve the desired levels of quality and productivity by just hiring top talent. Organizations can gain significant competitive advantage by driving business productivity and quality through employee engagement.
In fact, several studies have shown that workforce engagement is one of the key contributors to enhancing business growth and success even during the most challenging times.
A meta-analysis performed by Harter et al in 2009, involving 199 research studies across 150 organizations and 44 industries from 26 countries found that the productivity of units with lower employee engagement dropped by 18% as compared to units having highly engaged employees.
Even though employee engagement has become a buzzword today, most organizations still need to comprehend its true meaning. Many organizations still believe that can build an engaged workforce by just offering the best compensation in the industry and the best facilities at the workplace.
However, employee engagement includes much more than this. It is about how the employees feel about their work and workplace. It is about how involved employees feel with the organization, and not just the financial benefits they receive.
Another research by Taleo Research suggested that highly engaged employees are twice likely to become top performers.
In a more recent study of companies with over 500 employees, 71% of managers felt that employee engagement was one of the most important factors in overall company success.
Employee engagement can impact every aspect of business growth and profitability, especially the overall quality and productivity of the workforce. This is evident from the fact that organizations with a more engaged workforce tend to enjoy a higher success rate as compared to organizations where the workforce engagement level is relatively lower.
Such employees tend to stay loyal and dedicated to their organization even during a major crisis such as the one currently being faced by businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The key reasons that make employee engagement so deeply impactful are as follows:
1. Creates a Sense of Self-Motivation
Highly engaged employees tend to feel motivated to contribute to business growth and success beyond their personal gains. Self-motivated employees are known to be more efficient at their work and are likely to commit fewer errors.
This improves the overall quality of the output along with productivity and efficiency. These can provide significant benefits for the business in the long run.
2. Makes the Employees Feel Valued
When organizations focus on improving the engagement of their employees they send out a positive message that they truly care. By involving employees in key business decisions, organizations can demonstrate that they are valued greatly.
Hence, employees feel a sense of ownership and are inspired to put in their best towards fulfilling their goals efficiently.
3. Ensures Greater Employee Happiness and Satisfaction
Highly engaged employees tend to feel a greater happiness and satisfaction at their workplace. Such employees do not feel overburdened with work and are always eager to take up more challenging roles and responsibilities.
Being happier also makes it easier for employees to work harder and focus on delivering high-quality results, every single time.
4. Strengthens their Bond of Trust with their Employers
When employees are highly engaged, their sense of trust in their employers and business leaders is strengthened further. They also feel assured about their professional growth and development within the organization. This helps in improving their job security; so they can work wholeheartedly towards the goals assigned to them.
This, in turn, helps in driving productivity and quality for the business through employee engagement.
5. Reduces Employee Turnover Rate
One of the most significant ways in which employee engagement impacts quality and productivity, is by reducing the turnover rate. Employees who feel happy and satisfied with their work and work environment, are less likely to seek other job options.
This minimizes chances of disruption in the business operations so that the productivity and quality remain consistent.
Most organizations find the task of maximizing employee engagement to be challenging. They need to develop strategies that are tailored to match the unique needs and motivations of their individual employees.
In this context, keeping the following key points that impact employee engagement in mind can prove really beneficial:
1. Organizational Work Culture
Work culture impacts engagement in more than one ways. This is why organizations need to focus on building a great culture that is inclusive and supportive. Such a work culture makes employees feel valued and more willing to contribute to the business growth and success.
2. Open Lines of Communication
Open and frank communication between the employees and the management helps to enhance engagement significantly. This requires the managers to make themselves easily accessible to all employees, including those opting to work from home. Such communication is the key to building trust and makes the employees feel that their views and opinions truly matter.
3. Responsive Feedback Loop
Creating a responsive feedback loop helps employees to be aware of their strengths and shortcomings. It also provides employees with opportunities to express their ideas, grievances, and provide suggestions for improvement without fear or regret.
4. Effective Rewards System
An effective employee rewards and recognition system helps organizations appreciate and celebrate the achievements and contribution of their employees. It assures the employees that the organization recognizes their efforts and values their attitude, commitment, and excellence.
A similar study conducted across Fortune 100 companies found that the errors made by disengaged employees increased by a whopping 1000% as compared to the engaged employees.
The above points can help organizations in driving business productivity and quality through employee engagement to maximize their business growth and profitability, and to stay ahead of the competition.
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