Recent Gallup research reveals that truly engaged workplaces are the exception, rather than the norm, since only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs. Employee engagement is defined as the level at which employees are emotionally invested in, and focused on, creating value for their organizations every day. The balance or 87% of employees are either indifferent, not engaged or worse yet—“actively disengaged and potentially hostile — to their organizations.”
Gallup reports powerful correlations between engaged employees and the achievement of critical business outcomes. Surprisingly, organizations with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share and realize1:
41% fewer quality defects
48% fewer safety incidents
28% less shrinkage
65% less turnover
25% less turnover
37% less absenteeism
Gallup recently honored 40 organizations that are recipients of the annual Gallup Great Workplace Award. These companies average nine engaged employees for every single actively disengaged employee, which is greater than five times the rate in the U.S.
Here are three ways your organization can excel in employee engagement.
Walk the walk. Leadership strength and employee performance are directly correlated. When direct supervisors communicate clear objectives, processes, goals, etc., employees know how, when and what to do to attain optimal performance. The critical success factor is whether or not the supervisor leads by example. By engaging team members instead of barking orders, leaders model correct behavior and demonstrate respect which increases the level of engagement.
Dale Carnegie’s Human Relationship Principle #1 says to, “Give honest, sincere appreciation.” Leaders who treat employees with respect and appreciation will see most team members behave similarly. Employees of enthusiastic leaders quickly learn that enthusiasm is contagious and intrinsically rewarding. They are more confident in their ability to get the job done right—the first time.
Align your organization’s vision with employees’ daily responsibilities. Few people would jump into a vehicle without having a destination, yet many executive teams expect disengaged employees to perform at their maximum level without understanding how their specific role contributes to the company as a whole. Disengaged employees are 2.5 times more likely than engaged employees to change jobs for as little as a 5% pay increase2.
Senior leadership must paint a clear vision and instill its values into every employee. Once everyone understands their position on the roadmap, they will work together towards common goals defined by senior leadership. Open-door policies, feedback repositories, displayed vision and mission statements, etc. all evoke feelings of value and ultimately, engagement.