Employee Engagement is a Must

Whereas the buzzword in 2014 was “culture” it seems that for 2015 the new buzzword…or buzz-term…is “employee engagement.”  In reality, culture and engagement go hand in hand. What seems to be rising to the forefront, however, is just how important employee engagement is to the effectiveness and longevity of employees within a company.  If employees are happy, they tend to work harder and stay longer at a company, even forgoing raises to stay at a place where they feel valued.

What does employee engagement look like?  How are some companies successful at it, and some not? More importantly, how does a leadership team accept and understand the need to embrace employee engagement as a key to success when there hasn’t been this type of engagement in the past?

When you consider that an engaged employee is one who is fully absorbed by their work, and is enthusiastic about being a part of the company, it’s easy to understand why engagement is becoming a hot topic.  Companies that are not engaging their employees are not recognizing the value that this brings.

HR can play a huge role in employee engagement, designing programs and encouraging leadership to adopt a new philosophy on employee management. The most important aspect is for leaders to embrace this change, and when they do, they will see a change in the employees they lead.

Here is some advice from business executives regarding embracing that change and the importance of employee engagement.

“You must implement open book management. You have to teach every single member of your team-from line cook to server-the game of business-no exceptions! A lot of people in non-business roles mistakenly believe that business is too complicated for them to understand. It’s not-not when you have the right teacher.” – Ben Landers, President, Blue Corona

“Employee Engagement is one of the most impactful ways to foster growth, improve customer satisfaction and increase profits.  Depending on the study you read, 65-75% of employees are no engaged, and 10-25% of them are actively disengaged and trying to ruin things everyone else.  Formulate your plan, and show the other leaders in the company how it can benefit them, and the goals of the company.” – Chris Dyer, CEO, PeopleG2

“According to the Workplace Research Foundation, increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year. These investments, on average yield a 38% increase in productivity.” Thom Fox, Business Advisor and Host of “The Engine”

“Employee engagement is a powerful, but often undervalued, business tool. One of the biggest advantages to increasing employee engagement is that employees work harder and better — morale improves and productivity increases, and therefore so does the company’s bottom line. Also employees tend to feel more vested in the success or failure of the business, and (especially when using an employee suggestion program) become more involved in sharing their ideas and solutions for improving critical systems, operations, and procedures (which also boosts growth and profitability). In addition employee turn-over is reduced, company culture is improved, the list goes on.” – Duncan Murtagh, Co-Founder, Vetter

“Having an engaged employee is every employer’s dream. They are likely to stay longer, be a team player and contribute more to the success and bottom line of the business. Employers can put into place the most effective pay structures, policies and procedures, but the one thing they can’t control is what their people carry with them when they walk through the door.” Keryl Pesce, Author and Entrepreneur

“The key to management buying in is top leadership. They must buy in. It’s not for those people Studies show that groups lead by engaged leaders are engaged. Ultimately it is about aligning strategy with the talents and motivators of each person. Engagement must be part of the fabric to be successful. And most companies that are positioned for the long term sustainability employ this a strategic focus.” – Susan L. Lauer, Principal, Aspire Consulting, Ltd.

“When it comes to encouraging leadership to embrace and invest in employee engagement, HR needs to focus on evidence. Specifically, they need to highlight how employee engagement can affect the company’s bottom line. Employee engagement doesn’t just result in individual job satisfaction, it leads to an increase in overall productivity, profitability, and retention.

The key to getting leadership to buy in to employee engagement initiatives is to make those results tangible. One way to do this is by distributing employee engagement surveys or asking engagement-related questions during employee check-ins.

Additionally, HR should take a look at how other companies — companies they’d like to emulate — are benefitting from their employee engagement efforts. What are they doing to increase engagement? How have they appeared to benefit from these efforts? HR’s goal should be to turn intangible results into clear evidence.” – Andre Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany