Whether it's business as usual or your organization is in crisis, you'll have an advantage in understanding the benefits of employee engagement.
"Are your employees engaged?" asks the consultant. "Yeah, sure they are. Now can we talk about systems/strategies/goals/revenue instead?" replies the executive.
This isn't to place business leaders in a bad light, yet this is a common conversation in organizations. It highlights the tendency to focus on symptoms of an issue, rather than on root cause.
It might not be. But, those areas of operational systems, growth strategies, organizational goals that support top line revenue and bottom line profit are all influenced by your organization's levels of employee engagement.
"Shouldn't employees be engaged because they have jobs with our organization?" asks the CEO.
Woodruffe (2006) suggests that leaders of this type follow the outdated belief that money is the only source of motivation, and that issues of motivation or engagement can be erased by increasing salaries.
Beyond compensation, employee motivation is driven by the following (Pokorny, 2013):
By focusing on one motivator in money, and failing to recognize the many drivers of employee motivation, employee disengagement grows.
Disengagement should be of concern as, according to Gallup (2018), in comparison with companies of the lowest employee engagement, companies with the high employee engagement are:
"Leave one wolf alive, and the sheep are never safe," said Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. This applies if you consider the wolf as employee disengagement and the sheep as your organizational goals.
Research has supported a link between levels of employee engagement and the following employee qualities (Bailey et al., 2017; Crawford et al., 2010; Halbesleben, 2010; and Saks, 2006, as cited in Saks, 2022):
Danna & Griffin (1999) as cited in Hauff (2022) define employee well-being as being multi-dimensional, encompassing positive and negative experiences of pleasure, displeasure, and health at work in job satisfaction, employee engagement, and various aspects of overall health.
Huettermann & Bruch (2019) found that what benefits employees, benefits the organization.
Attend to employee engagement and you'll be attending to the attitudes, behaviors, performance, and well-being of your employees.
Whether you measure financial performance in terms of cost-cutting, revenue generation, or both, these are among the benefits of employee engagement.
Adarsh & B (2017) found that initial investments in improving the quality of service provided by employees through training and upgrades to technology might reflect unfavorably at first glance in the short-term as the impacts of this organizational focus present more significantly in the long-term.
In other words, patience, investment, and consistent commitment to employee engagement strategy are the ingredients necessary for positive results to be had.
Gratton (2000) as cited in Burlacu & Mura (2019) suggests that the focus of leaders on supporting rarity, value, and inimitability enhances employee engagement, leading to improved firm performance, when sustained can lead to advantage over one's industry competitors.
Attend to the foundation and as employee engagement improves, so too will your pace and success beyond that of your competitors.
Here's the shortened version of your benefits of employee engagement. Plan your organizational focus on supporting employee engagement and you'll find:
Each week, I schedule time to meet with leaders who want more engaged employees who:
If that's true of you and your organization, let's talk. Here's how. ⤵️
David Bohmiller, MBA, MS (he/him/his)
Founder, CEO and Consulting Executive
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