Happy People, Healthy Profit? The Secret Of Employee Engagement
In 2018, engagement is the global currency powering the business world. You want engaging leaders to inspire change, engaged customers to convert to sales. But most important are the engaged employees to do all the work between. Though employee engagement is important, it often goes somewhat underdeveloped.
While employees from Australia rate their life experience the highest globally, only 14% of employees consider themselves engaged at work. That’s a single percentage point more than the global average.
It’s important as a responsible manager to take pastoral care of your team. But failure to do so is costing you. Recent research has shown happy workers to be 12% more productive. When you consider that 20 billion hours of paid employment are worked by 12 million Australians each year, that productivity increase is significant.
What stops employees from being engaged and productive?
There are many factors that contribute to employee engagement. A third of individuals working for themselves or in micro-businesses report job satisfaction. But that falls to 29% for small business employees, and 27% for medium to large enterprises. The problem lies in the workplace, and likely the values of the organisation.
Companies that focus on mission rather than money, are more likely to excel at Customer Experience (CX). Why is CX important? Happy customers cause less problems. Employees at companies that prioritise CX are 30% more likely to go beyond what’s required in their role. Around 20% are more likely to stay late if they believe their company is fulfilling a mission. If an employee feels valued, they value the aims of their organisation.
How does engagement convert into sales?
So happy employees produce better work, are more committed to their job, and are productive. But how does this pay off? Research has shown a significant connection between employee satisfaction and firm profitability. In fact, Gallup estimates that companies that value employee engagement are nearly 1.5x more profitable than their competitors.
Just as human centred design helps you to serve your customers better, an employee centred workplace serves its people better. Not sure where to start with employee engagement? We’ve got our four top tips below:
Know your employees. Not just their name, but their birthday, their strengths, what they do on the weekend. Humanising your team makes it easier to empathise and build stronger relationships with them. It also makes you more human and approachable.
- Keep your employees on the same page. By communicating clearly and frequently with your team, you can set realistic expectations and engage them more with the running of the company.
- Let employees know how they’re doing. Don’t leave it to an annual performance review: make sure your team know what you think of their work. Use this as an opportunity to direct their training and evaluate their duties. You may be surprised at the untapped potential you find.
- Leave them to it. A good leader knows how to inspire their team – and how to let them get on with it. Autonomy gives your employees the space to learn and grow, and the freedom to determine their relationship with the business themselves.