Bersin & Associates LLC, experts in research-based membership programs and human resources, recently placed employee engagement as the top prediction for business trends in 2015. Employee engagement levels can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line impacting sales, organic growth, staff absenteeism, new business and innovation and as such it should be a key focus for any business leader.
With only 25 percent of the Australian and New Zealand workforce currently “highly engaged," it is a startling wake-up call to businesses to realise that three quarters of employees are not actively enthusiastic about their work environment. Even more sobering to note is that around the world, 63 percent of employees are “disengaged” leading to decreased productivity, which ultimately impacts the bottom line.
There are ten measurable ways that boosting employee engagement can lead to a more fulfilling and successful workplace. These management strategies cover the duration of an employee’s tenure, from the first day of onboarding to the day they exit the business.
- Attract the best people. Recruits know when morale is good and the office has a positive atmosphere. Word gets around both within the industry and amongst various online sources. High-performing, skilled staff who are highly sought after are more likely to apply for roles in a workplace with highly engaged and motivated co-workers and managers. High employee engagement workplaces attract the best talent.
- Speed of recruitment. It follows then, that job vacancies in a highly motivated workplace can be filled more quickly due to more competition from higher-calibre candidates. This is because the role and company is perceived as highly desirable.
- Get new recruits adding value sooner, and staying longer. An engaged team will take the time to invest in inducting new joiners into the office culture, work and practices. Research conducted by the Aberdeen Group revealed that 86 percent of new hires make their decision to leave or stay within the first six months in the job, so onboarding people properly is of paramount importance. The more comprehensive and informative the induction process is, the better their morale and the faster they will be able to successfully contribute to the company, ultimately impacting the bottom line.
- Productive performance reviews. Employees that aren’t engaged may have a negative expectation of performance reviews and see them as an opportunity to discuss their faults. On the other hand, engaged employees are more likely to welcome and perform reviews on time. They’ll be happy to take on feedback and see reviews as an opportunity for career progression.
- Meeting goals. When your workforce is engaged, they are more likely to have open lines of communication with management, enabling them work collaboratively to meet goals. Disengaged employees tend to silo themselves, which hampers business performance. Aligning individuals’ goals, whether they’re short or long term, with your team or company goals makes a win-win situation for everyone. Make sure you reward employees for meeting these goals too.
- Employee career progression that benefits the company and the individual. It’s been shown that younger employees tend to “job hop” and try new roles early in their career. Engaged employees are more likely to come to their managers with their career desires before looking elsewhere. Instead of fighting this, many companies like Google offer employees a chance to move between departments or even countries so they can retain stellar talent.
- Increased employee loyalty. Your employees are your greatest asset. Engaged staff will stick by their company through thick and thin. When times are hard or the hours are long, an engaged workforce will surprise you with their willingness to invest in the continued success of the business.
- A highly productive team. An engaged workforce will enjoy their work and workplace disruptions will become minimised. Long-gone will be the days of endless tea and coffee breaks and high absenteeism. Engaged employees instil good habits in the rest of the team, leading to higher productivity and a more pleasant atmosphere overall.
- Lower staff turnover. With a more productive workforce, motivated to succeed both for themselves and the company, staff turnover is generally lower, saving the business money in the recruitment process and time in onboarding. After all, why would an employee leave your business if they’re happy where they are?
- Easy succession planning. Having a motivated workforce of high-calibre employees makes succession planning easier. When the time comes for a valued employee to leave, if the team around them are engaged, you should have a few candidates already willing to take on the opportunity of a new role. It also means that the outgoing staff member is willing to train up their replacement in an open and supportive environment.
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Karen joined NGA.NET in 2004 and holds the role of Managing Director, APAC. Leveraging experience gained over more than 20 years in talent management, Karen develops and leads the strategic direction of NGA.NET for the region.