Why are engaged employees an asset?

Engaged employees strongly identify with the goals and values of the organization they are working for. They are committed not only to their jobs, but to the organization as a whole. Engaged employees are happier, healthier and are performing better than disengaged employees and will help an organization attract more talented people. Gallup´s latest employee engagement meta-analysis study confirmed that organizations with more engaged employees have better chances of achieving the organizational outcomes they are aiming for — such as revenue, profit and productivity (Gallup, 2016). Disengaged employees on the other hand, are costly due to lower productivity, higher absenteeism, as well as higher recruitment and training cost. It is no surprise that employee engagement has become a critical business topic in the last decades. An increasing number of organizations are including employee engagement on their strategic agenda.


How to increase employee engagement?

Organizations that are striving for a culture of high engagement, should start with obtaining more insight in their organization through an extensive assessment. What are the engagement levels of their different teams? What blocks and drives engagement in their organization? What is going well and what needs to be improved? This assessment will help organizations decide on the elements of their culture they want to maintain as well as the topics that need to be addressed and/or improved. Even though there are many good examples and ideas about how to improve employee engagement, not every idea will have the same impact in every organization. Employee engagement is not a program that can be copied from one organization and “pasted” into another. Employee engagement is an ongoing part of the DNA of an organization and it is therefore critical that it is assessed and enhanced for every organization individually.


Why continuous measurements?

Currently, most organizations are measuring engagement though a yearly or bi-yearly survey. Typically, some key improvement areas are found, published, discussed in workshops and translated into action plans. The effects and impact of these action plans and proposed changes are rarely measured. Organizations lose track of the impact of changes until they measure again one or two years later. Since employee engagement is an ongoing part of the organization´s culture and strategy, an engagement survey should not be a once a year event. Employee engagement should be monitored and analyzed on a frequent basis, e.g. on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This has many advantages. First, frequent measurement will enable organizations to observe and monitor trends in their data. Outcomes will be more representative and less biased by the moment the survey was filled out. Second, through continues measurement, an employee survey becomes an important tool and integrated part of the wider engagement strategy. Immediate actions can be taken based on the results. Third, the return of invest of organizational change and new engagement initiatives can be measured. Do engagement levels increase after a summer party or a yearly summit? What is the effect of a restructuring project on the overall engagement? This is critical information when analyzing the impact of engagement on organizational outcomes such as revenue, profit and productivity.


Does your organization need support?

Stay tuned for my next article, in which I will write about the factors that contribute to employee engagement and should be monitored continuously. If there is anything we can support you with in terms of measuring and analyzing continuous employee engagement, happiness and organizational development in your organization, please leave a comment or get in touch with me.

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