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What is Employee Engagement?

71% of executives agree that employee engagement is critical to their company’s success. But the truth is, many organizations lose amazing people because they haven’t taken the time to engage them – don’t let that be you properly!

In this article, we’ll dive deep into employee engagement. Then, after we’ve looked at exactly what it is and why it’s essential, we’ll look at ways to measure, analyze, and improve employee engagement within your business.

What is Employee Engagement?

Let’s start with a definition.

Employee engagement is the level of connection and enthusiasm employees feel towards their organization, the people they work with, and their work. Engaged employees elicit high levels of motivation and passion, whereas disengaged employees appear despondent and lack drive.

Early on, it’s worth noting that employee engagement and employee happiness aren’t the same things. After all, employees can be happy with their work and role without being fully engaged.

But ultimately, organizations want their employees to be happy and engaged, so the two work hand-in-hand, as you’ll see throughout this article.

Why is Employee Engagement so Important?

High levels of employee engagement aren’t just appealing to HR but to business leaders, team managers, and the employees themselves.

Here are just some of the benefits you’ll see when you focus on improving employee engagement.

Increased Productivity

Engaged employees are more productive employees as they want to come to work, excel at their jobs, and contribute to the overall success of the organization. Research backs this up too, with fully engaged employees shown to be 17% more productive than their unengaged peers.

Engaged employees have a passion, drive, and commitment to their work. Engagement doesn’t just make the job more exciting for the employee, it means they’ll go above and beyond, delivering additional value for the organization.

Higher Employee Retention

Engaged employees don’t spend their time looking for other jobs. If employees are immersed in their work, they won’t want to seek a new challenge and will stay committed to what they’re doing within their current role.

But some of that’s on the organization too. Engaged employees stick around because:

  • They’re provided opportunities for growth and career progression
  • They have a strong understanding of the organizational strategy and its ‘why’
  • They’re recognized and appreciated for the work they do
  • They build strong bonds with their colleagues

Boosting retention means businesses save money on recruitment and enhance their collective knowledge while minimizing workforce disruption.

Convertโ€™s remote / hybrid team uses video calls, Slack, and Grow to stay connected and share feedback across the entire organization. Photo courtesy of Philip Moss.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

There’s a very strong correlation between employee engagement and happy customers.

After all, passionate, motivated, and diligent employees deliver better results and offer better service. Data has even gone as far as to show that super-engaged teams can achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings and up to a 20% increase in sales.

Lower Absenteeism

Engaged employees love coming to work and doing their job. As a result, organizations with a high engagement rate see low levels of absenteeism as staff don’t find excuses to stay home.

Low absenteeism also links to higher productivity and increased customer satisfaction, as employees who are consistently in the office deliver the work they need to.

Grow makes requesting and giving feedback quick and easy. As a remote first company, we spend a lot of time in Slack and the simple integration means it isnโ€™t a challenge.โ€

Victoria Harrison
Head of PeopleOps

How to Measure Employee Engagement

But how do you know if your employees are engaged? Unfortunately, it’s not easy to tell by just walking around your office. So instead, it would help to combine various measures to understand the whole picture of your employees.

Here are three of the most common ways organizations can monitor and analyze their employee engagement.

Employee Engagement Surveys

Employee engagement surveys are one of the most common ways to get insight into how your employees feel about your organization.

Often, organizations deploy these surveys on an annual basis, asking employees a range of questions to understand:

  • How connected and engaged they are in their role.
  • How connected they feel to their wider team and their manager.
  • How connected and loyal they are to the organization and its objectives.

Most organizations will use a dedicated HR/employee engagement consultancy or software provider for annual surveys to ask the right questions. This level of professionalism in surveying helps remove any bias and ensures the company is asking honest and consistent questions.

Organizations may also undertake pulse surveys throughout the year. These shorter surveys are designed to ‘check the pulse’ of the employees at regular intervals.

These surveys typically provide an overall and a breakdown score to help organizations understand what they’re doing well and where they can improve.

6 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement in Your Business

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of having a great employee engagement score, you may be looking for ways to boost your engagement even further. Here are five ways to reconnect with your employees.

1 . Encourage Meaningful Feedback

Truly engaged employees give and receive feedback to improve their work, team, and organization. One of the easiest ways to boost engagement is to create a culture that promotes and celebrates meaningful feedback.

Start by installing Grow.

Grow allows employees to share feedback instantly through the channels they already use, such as Slack. As a result, it’s easy for employees to receive feedback on their performance, praise others, and anonymously provide opinions on areas they feel could be improved.

Send feedback to a teammate!

The new trend in organizations is to give in-the-moment feedback. It is having a profound effect on performance and employee retention.โ€

2022 OpenView Product Benchmarks

2. Define and Share a Strong Purpose

Employee engagement always starts with a strong north star. As an organization, make sure you have a mission and a purpose that employees can genuinely get engaged with.

Engaged employees need to feel like they’re part of something that’s truly making a difference in the world. As senior leaders, challenge yourself to create a vision and a mission that has a purpose and is inherently engaging.

Failure to do this, and you’ll have a workforce who are lost, lack purpose, and ultimately, aren’t engaged.

3. Communicate Regularly

Organizations need to feel like a community. Especially in a digital, remote-working world, organizations have to work hard to build, strengthen, and maintain strong bonds.

Whether that’s regular communications from the C-Suite, posters around the office, or periodic messages on your Slack channels, make sure that leaders, managers, and team members keep in touch day-in, day-out.

If you feel your people aren’t talking enough, try switching it up with new internal communications strategies.

#4 – Empower Your People

Engaged employees need to have the freedom to express themselves. Micromanagement is the fastest way to kill employee engagement, with constant correction and a lack of freedom stifling employees’ creativity. 

To boost employee engagement, create an environment where employees are empowered to manage their workloads, explore their ideas, and deliver objectives in a way that feels natural for them. 

Here’s a way we like to boost engagement at Grow:

Give A Grow

#4 – Invest in Wellbeing & Development

Remember that link between employee engagement and employee happiness? By investing in your employees’ well-being, you’ll build stronger connections, leading to happier employees.

Ways to invest in well being and development of your employees look like –

  • professional development i.e training courses, webinars, and workshops.
  • health and wellness i.e workplace yoga, healthy snacks, and discounted gym memberships.
  • or an employee assistance program i.e mental health support, legal aid, and financial advice. 

#5 – Encourage Meaningful Feedback

Truly engaged employees give and receive feedback to improve their work, team, and organization. One of the easiest ways to boost engagement is to create a culture that promotes and celebrates meaningful feedback. 

Tools like Grow allow employees to share feedback instantly through the channels they already use, such as Slack and Teams. As a result, it’s easy for employees to receive feedback on their performance, praise others, and anonymously provide opinions on areas they feel could be improved.

Feedback Friday!

Grow helps you do all of that by:

๐Ÿ” Fostering a culture of continuous feedback

๐Ÿ™‚ Ensuring your employees feel supported and enabled to grow

๐Ÿ“ˆ Encouraging a growth mindset across your organization

๐Ÿ’ˆ Living and breathing your organization’s objectives through meaningful feedback

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