5 Research Proven Methods to More Engaged Employees
It’s just a fact of life: Engaged employees work harder for your company.
The ones who consistently raise their hands for a new challenge, go the extra mile and talk happily about their work outside of the office.
Temkin Group, a leader in the area of employee engagement, found in March 2017 that companies that outperform their competitors both in financial results and customer experience have more engaged employees.
Two weeks ago, we discussed the difference between employee experience and engagement. We talked about how both are an important part of the building up and keeping your team.
Then last week, we talked more in depth about the employee experience, so this week we’re focusing on engagement.
Why it’s important
According to a Gallup study, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. Drill that down another step and note that only 24% of employees in Australia are engaged.
An article on news.gallup.com discussed the three levels of engagement in employees:
- Engaged – These are your passionate employees; the ones who are always ready to step up and help drive your business forward.
- Not engaged – Many employees land here; not really actively participating in the work, just “getting by” each day and only doing what’s necessary to get the job done.
- Actively disengaged – These are your unhappy employees, who usually are making it known how much they hate their jobs. These people often hurt the work of those who are engaged.
The final category of employees are the most disruptive and often take up time for HR. They are so unhappy that they want to make everyone around them feel the same way. They take up managers’ time and may actively prevent engaged employees from accomplishing their tasks.
The Temkin Group 2017 study discovered that, unlike disengaged employees, engaged staff will recommend their company’s products and services almost five times more often. These motivated team members are three times more likely to stay late when a deadline is looming, and they are more than five times more likely to suggest improvements for the company.
And thankfully, the Temkin Group also noted that employee engagement is certainly on the rise.
Both the engaged and actively disengaged employees are easy to spot. But it’s those pesky just “not engaged” employees that get overlooked.
These unengaged, but not actively hating people that could be “the greatest untapped opportunity for businesses to improve their performance and profitability,” wrote Robyn Reilly in the 2014 article.
You might notice they come into meetings either a couple of minutes late or just right on time and don’t bother with chit chat. They only respond when asked a direct question, and they do only what is asked and nothing above and beyond.
With only a small percentage of the workforce engaged, it’s easy to see that the majority of people go to work because they have to; they need the money and don’t want to put the energy into looking for a new job or train for a different position.
However, if companies could find a way to transform these employees into passionate, engaged team players, then performance would increase without having to go through the time consuming and costly recruitment process.
Ways to improve engagement
I typically suggest following the Temkin Group’s Five Is to begin improving employee engagement.
- Incent – Create programs that will measure, reward and reinforce desired behaviours.
- Inspire – Connect employees with the vision and values of the company.
- Inform – Let employees know what the important priorities are for the company.
- Instruct – Provide coaching, feedback and training to help employees improve and achieve.
- Involve – Listen and take action when employees have problems.
Don’t just measure, DO.
Surveys are a good way to potentially identify issues however it is the action you take afterwards that will make the impact.
“Though companies and leaders worldwide recognise the advantages of engaging employees–and many have instituted surveys to measure engagement — employee engagement has barely budged in well over a decade,” according a School of Thinking article. “In reality, when companies focus exclusively on measuring engagement rather than on improving engagement, they often fail to innovate the necessary changes that will engage employees.”
Stay tuned next week for a list of ideas to engage your employees so you can DO rather than just talk.