Employee engagement is an issue of great importance in the HR field. In fact, according to a recent Healthx white paper, the vast majority of organizations today consider employee engagement to be the top priority among their HR goals. While employee engagement is an important aim, the Seattle Post Intelligence blog indicates that a recent Gallup survey found only 33 percent of employees were fully engaged, while a full 18 percent identified themselves as actively disengaged from their work.
The Importance of Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is defined as the level of interest and enthusiasm workers have for their jobs. The more engaged an employee is, the more excited he or she is about the job he is performing. Employees who are neither engaged nor disengaged, on the other hand, aren’t connected to their workplaces and aren’t likely to go the extra mile. Finally, employees who are disengaged are disconnected from their jobs and put both their own physical health and the ongoing success of workplace or team projects at risk.
As one might expect, companies with a greater percentage of engaged employees tend to be more profitable than companies with a lower number of engaged workers. Further, companies with engaged employees have higher retention rates (which means less money spent recruiting and training) and can have a better image with customers.
How to Increase Engagement
While employee engagement may be a top goal, you have to actively take steps to increase engagement if you want to achieve it. Engaging employees should be done on an organization-wide basis, and managers are essential in making sure employees remain engaged. Managers can work to increase employee engagement by:
- Clarifying their expectations
- Making sure employees have the resources they need to do their jobs
- Helping employees to develop themselves professionally
- Making sure employees connect to the company’s mission and purpose
- Offering regular progress reports, rather than simply annual reviews.
When these and other efforts are instituted to help employees become passionate about their work, the efforts can pay dividends for your company. According to Gallup data, in world-class organizations, the ratio of engaged workers to disengaged employees is 10:1 while the ratio in average organizations is closer to 2:1. Increasing employee engagement is thus one of the best ways to help yourself stand apart from the crowd and to make the most of your human resources.