What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is a measurement of the way employees feel about their company and its values. Engaged employees show their emotional commitment in their daily work. They are eager to go to work, interact with co-workers and offer a contribution they feel will be valued and helpful to the organization. Employee engagement is also tightly connected to employees' belief in the abilities of their leaders, and, more specifically, the quality of the relationships with their managers.
Engaging and retaining skilled employees is critical to your organization's survival, let alone its success. And yet, it can't be only about what's good for the business. It has to also be aligned with what's good for your people and creating an experience that matters for them. It also doesn't happen without the nurturing of a supportive culture, helpful tools and a solid plan.
It's why delivering a great employee experience is foundational to driving employee engagement. It's also why employee engagement is an output of your talent development programs and the culture and work environment you build.
Benefits of employee engagement
According to Gallup, companies with engaged workers have 20 percent higher sales, while Kenexa research found engaged companies have five times higher shareholder returns over five years.
Engagement can also reduce turnover, lower absenteeism, prevent shrinkage, encourage fewer safety incidents, improve customer ratings and lead to higher productivity.
However, to realize the benefits of an engaged workforce, your employees must see the connection between their work, their value to the organization and their impact on organizational outcomes. To make this connection, employees must have an understanding of the organization's purpose and their role in supporting it. And cultivating that connection requires a culture where employees:
- feel trusted and empowered to fulfill their responsibilities
- receive regular feedback and recognition
- are supported in developing new skills
- see organizational values reinforced through behaviors and actions of leadership and peers
Keys to success
To drive engagement, your talent development strategy must deliver a work experience that is fulfilling and motivating. You also need to solicit feedback from employees about what is and isn't working in the organization, and communicate the outcome of talent development initiatives throughout the year.
This Center of Excellence offers how-to articles, ebooks, tools, tips and webinars to help boost employee engagement in your organization.