What drives employee engagement?
Employee engagement is a key driver of business performance and its real chances for success. According to a 2009 Hay Group study, organizations with high levels of employee engagement experience 2.5 times more revenue growth than those with low levels. What’s more it has an impact on customer satisfaction which is 22% higher in companies with high levels of employee engagement.
A person who is engaged in their work is, above all, a motivated person who is eager to perform their tasks and at the same time is proactive and effective in their actions. The result is the satisfaction of each party, the employee, the employer, and the customer.
What exactly is employee engagement and how can we improve this factor? We will try to answer these questions today.
What is engagement?
Until recently, to check the effectiveness of staff and the overall atmosphere in the company, the focus was on employee satisfaction studies. Nowadays more and more organizations survey the level of their employee engagement.
What is the difference between engagement and satisfaction? It has been noticed that engagement at work goes hand in hand with effectiveness, which cannot always be said about the level of satisfaction. A satisfied employee often “settles on his laurels”, feels safe in his comfort zone and does not act proactively.
Employee engagement is being talked about more and more these days. Let’s check what this means. An engaged employee is first of all a person highly motivated to work, who willingly performs assigned tasks, presents ideas, asks questions, and seeks solutions. Not without significance are also such factors as relations between the employee and the employer, the amount of the salary, additional benefits, work environment and many others which may contribute to increasing or decreasing the level of employee engagement.
What is motivation?
To understand why employee engagement is so critical, one must first go to the source, which is the concept of motivation. It is the force that drives us toward our goals. The levels of motivation have a direct impact on our sense of satisfaction and on the effectiveness of our work. We can distinguish between two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. The internal motivation is supported by such factors as the recognition given by the manager, personal achievements, and the possibility of being promoted. The external motivator, in turn, will be good remuneration, interpersonal relations and friendly work environment.
Unfortunately, a frequent reason for low engagement of the employees is lack of proper motivation, and thus failure to meet any of the above-mentioned factors.
What drives employee engagement?
Issues with sustaining high engagement among the workforce affect many companies. Many factors are responsible for this state of affairs, which do not meet the various expectations of employees. Identifying factors influencing staff engagement is the first step to a better change. Below we list some of the most important ones, which are worth analyzing and verifying in your company.
Level of employee well-being
There’s no denying that one of the key factors affecting employee motivation and engagement levels is compensation. According to an analysis of employee engagement completed by the Macrothink Institute, for over 58% of those surveyed, prosperity has a positive impact on their engagement at work. Not having to worry about financial worries when difficult life situations arise makes it easier for the person to focus on their tasks and work more effectively.
In the case of employees who are offered lower wages by their employer, the feeling that they are not being taken seriously is intensified. A similar effect can also be caused by the lack of significant benefits and bonuses.
Opportunity for development and promotion
Employers must note that professional development and the opportunity for promotion is very important to many people. This is also a very strong motivating element.
In addition to the increase in knowledge and skills, the satisfaction of such an employee also increases. Meeting his/her various needs by offering development opportunities makes the employee have a clear path to climb up, expand his/her competences and become more and more professionally fulfilled, and thus increase the chance for better earnings. Thanks to this we also continue to sustain the level of employee engagement.
Awards and recognition
There probably isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t like to be appreciated. Thanking specific employees for their effort and engagement and the results of their hard work is so little, yet so much! It is certainly one of the key non-salary benefits that affects engagement while working for a company.
A valued employee is more motivated and more effective in what he/she does and at the same time his/her loyalty to the company increases as well.
One of the more common reasons for lack of employee engagement is a poorly adapted work environment. After all, it is the place where we spend an average of 8 hours a day. It is important to feel safe and comfortable there. It is good when the employer provides not only work tools, but also small amenities that will make it easy for us to focus on work. Comfortable, adjustable chair and a desk is essential for many hours of work in front of a computer. To make sure that employees can easily focus and work more efficiently, it is also worth providing them with access to coffee, tea, and healthy snacks.
Relationships with co-workers
No less important, here, will be the relationship with co-workers. Often a bad attitude of managers, an atmosphere of envy and dissatisfaction among co-workers may result in a lack of motivation, a decrease in the level of engagement and lead to frustration and eventually resignation. It is much more pleasant to work in a place where there is a nice and warm atmosphere of trust. Then we feel safer and more comfortable, and we come to work more willingly, because we know that we are in an environment of friendly people.
Why should you care about high levels of employee engagement?
From the employer’s point of view, the answer seems to be very simple. It is worth increasing employee engagement mainly for the benefit of the company. An Aon Hewitt study shows that a 5% increase in engagement among employees results in a 3% increase in the organization’s revenue the following year.
So, apart from the benefits for the employee himself, a high level of employee engagement brings with it a number of additional benefits for the organization. According to various studies, a person who is engaged in his work:
- generates more revenue for the company,
- is more valued by customers,
- absenteeism and staff fluency are reduced,
- increases the market position of the company and its chances for growth and survival,
- the effectiveness and quality of employees’ work increases,
- the buffer between stress and job dissatisfaction is also increased (stress reduces dissatisfaction when employee engagement is higher).
An engaged employee does his/her job better, is more effective and innovative, and noticing problems in the company, looks for solutions. Therefore, the first thing to do is to ensure that the level of their motivation to work remains high. Meeting the factors mentioned above should give the employer a ready plan of action.