Employees are the biggest asset of any business organization, which is why organizations invest considerable time and effort in hiring the best professionals from the industry. However, it might not be sufficient for, organizations to achieve their business objectives in terms 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.
Overview of Employee Engagement
Despite the fact that employee engagement has become a buzzword in modern business organizations, most organizations still need to comprehend its true meaning. A majority of organizations believe that having an engaged workforce is all about providing the best compensation in the industry and ensuring that they get top 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 the extent to which the employees feel involved with the organization, and just the personal growth and 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 is known to 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 and are likely to commit fewer errors during the execution of the various tasks assigned to them.
This improves the overall quality of their output besides enhancing employee productivity and efficiency, which 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 ensuring the involvement of the members of the workforce in key business decisions, business organization assures them that they are much more just a means to business profitability.
Hence employees feel a deep sense of ownership and that, in turn, inspires them to put in their best efforts to help the business achieve its objectives in a timely and efficient manner.
3. Ensures Greater Employee Happiness and Satisfaction
It has been observed that employees with a higher level of engagement tend to feel a greater sense of happiness and satisfaction at their workplace. This ensures that the employees do not feel burdened by any task assigned to them and are forever 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 eliminating their stress and concern about their future and their job security; they can work wholeheartedly towards the goals assigned to them.
This, in turn, helps in driving productivity and quality through employee engagement for the organization.
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. As the employees feel happy and satisfied with their work and workplace, they are less likely to seek other job options.
This minimizes any chances of disruption in business workflow and workforce efficiency so that the business productivity and quality remain consistent.
How to improve Employee Engagement in an Organization?
Most organizations find the task of maximizing employee engagement to be challenging. They are tasked with developing engagement methods and 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, which is why organizations need to focus on building a great culture that is inclusive and supportive. Such a work culture makes the employees feel valued and makes them more willing to be an integral part of 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 assures that the employees are made aware of their strengths and shortcomings. It also provides employees with an opportunity to express their ideas, grievances, and even provide suggestions for improvements without feeling guilty or embarrassed.
4. Effective Rewards System
Having an effective employee reward and recognition system in place provides organizations with a means to celebrate the achievements and contribution of the employees. It assures the employees that their efforts ARE recognized and hat their attitude, commitment, and excellence are valued.
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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