Employee engagement is a topic of much discussion, as it should be, because it’s incredibly important to the bottom line of any organization.
When employees are truly engaged, companies tend to thrive. In fact, according to this article, businesses with more engaged employees have 51% higher productivity, 9% higher shareholder returns, and a 19% increase in operating income over a 12-month period, compared to 33% decrease in companies with disengaged employees.
It’s simple: higher employee engagement equals higher profits.
So how do you know if your employees are truly engaged?
The first question to ask yourself is whether or not your employees fully understand how their personal work contributes to the overall company performance and vision, as that is the largest driving force behind engagement.
Do they feel they are a valuable part of the organization?
Do they understand why they’re being asked to do what they’re being asked to do?
Do they understand why they are an integral part of the company’s success?
The best way to find out is to ask them. Creating an employee survey to ask them questions is a great and cost effective way to inquire. Asking questions around their value in the workplace and the pride they feel in themselves, their colleagues and their mission, are all good methods of deciphering whether or not they are engaged in their work.
Aside from effectively communicating their importance within your organization and directly asking them, you can tell if your employees are engaged through their behavior.
Engaged employees will be happy to celebrate the success of their colleagues. Collaborating with and supporting one another means they feel a sense of camaraderie and shared goals and purpose. It means they care. Disengaged employees are less likely to see the value in their own workplace achievements, let alone their co-workers’.
In a similar sense, they’ll also offer to help one another, even when they aren’t asked. They’ll feel compelled to help others thrive, as they’re secure in their own value and can clearly see how a colleague’s success also contributes to the shared bottom line. They have a ‘we’ mentality.
One behavior you won’t see in engaged employees though, is watching the clock. They’ll be focused on the task at hand, the success of their projects, and in moving the ball forward for the company as a whole. When they’re fully engaged, they will not be idly counting down until they can leave.
Just as they’ll offer direct support to their co-workers without prompting, engaged employees will also think outside the box and offer solutions for improvement in the workplace in general. When they view themselves as a valuable part of the organization’s success, they will feel it’s their natural responsibility to help in any way they can. They’ll volunteer to help in other areas outside of their normal responsibilities, and will be enthusiastic about any professional development opportunities, such as continuing education, mentoring or perhaps even teaching and speaking.
Finally, referral and retention rates are key indicators of engaged employees. Are they referring their friends and family to work in your organization? Do they stay? When employees feel a sense of growth, appreciation and trust in their bosses and their companies, they spread the word and to want to stay.
There are many ways to know when your team is truly engaged and it’s important to do so. Companies with engaged employees tend to be the most successful. Start by simply asking them and by making sure they know their value, and then observe those exhibiting the behaviors above. Engaged employees should be easy to spot, as their natural inclination to go above and beyond will surely stand out in any organization.
Interested in learning more about how to gauge and increase the engagement of your employees? Contact us today to see how a custom talent management strategy could improve the bottom line at your organization.