The level of commitment from your employees directly affects financial performance. 

At Brightwing, our passion for elevating human performance drives a hunger for data that shows what works and what doesn’t.  Two results of a Gallup research study recently caught our attention:

  • Disengaged employees cost U.S. companies $370 billion annually through lost productivity.
  • Engaged employees are 22 times more likely to be an advocate for their organization than disengaged employees.

Translation: the level of employee engagement at your company has a tremendous impact on your financial performance.

What is employee engagement, how does it impact the bottom line, and how can you be sure to have it?

What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is simply the level to which your employees embrace the organization’s goals as their own.  Someone who buys into your vision will naturally work more passionately for its fulfillment than someone who views his work as merely bartering for a paycheck.  Engaged employees are more productive, more efficient, more creative, and less in need of supervision.  In short, they’re more valuable.

How Does Employee Engagement Impact Your Bottom Line?

1. Employee engagement improves productivity.  According to Chartered Management Institute (CMI), managers who report feeling motivated at work are more than four times more likely to be highly productive (defined as more than 90% productivity).  That shouldn’t surprise anyone.

2. Employee engagement improves profitability.  A Towers Watson report found that companies with a highly engaged workforce improved operating income by 19.2% over a 12-month period, while companies with low engagement scores saw operating income decline by 32.7% over the same period.

3. Employee engagement improves change management.  PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) claims that 90% of the obstacles to successful change programs are people-related.  How much more likely are your people to pull in a common direction if they are fully engaged in achieving your collective vision?

How Can Your Company Have High Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is a cultural issue, so it affects and is affected by everything you do.  Here are five simple suggestions for how you can begin building higher engagement levels in your workforce:

1. Reward and recognize.  A Workforce Mood Tracker survey involving 630 global corporate respondents confirmed what most of us intuitively know: employees work harder when recognized for their contributions.  You may know that, but do you act on it?  Acknowledge your people for their efforts if you want them to advocate for you.

2. Leverage technology to interact with employees.  Garner forecasts that social networking will replace email as the primary communications hub for 20% of business workers by 2014.  Yammer is one available networking tool to help you collaborate throughout your company.

3. Continually train and develop your people.  Plenty of interactive online tools exist to blend traditional classroom methods, relationship-based mentoring, and digital formats.  Investing in your employees increases the likelihood of them investing in you.

4. Allow your employees to choose work/life programs that fit their needs.  Ditch the one-size-fits-all approach.  Your workforce is made up of individuals with unique needs.

5. Include employees in decision making.  This is a big one!  When employees feel they have a say, they are much more likely to support decisions whether or not they initially supported them.

6. Hire for values, passion and fit. Develop a strong recruiting process that brings in people who fit your culture and environment.