Smart businesses recognise that happy, engaged employees sell products and services better, provide superior customer service, and care more about each other and your business. So what is employee engagement? Employee engagement is the extent to which your employees’ feel passionate about their jobs, are committed and positive about your business, strive to go the extra mile, and want to stay working for you. Engagement can be measured by the willingness and ability of employees to contribute to the success of your organisation. Engaged employees’ choose to use their discretionary effort to contribute to the good health and wellbeing of your business. Various studies have shown that business owners who value engagement significantly increase customer satisfaction, profitability and overall business performance. Strong employee engagement builds a business’s competitive edge.
There are numerous answers to this question because so many positive outcomes result from creating highly engaged teams. The most important reasons are:
- Increased commercial success – Employees who feel happy while working have a positive impact on commercial success.
- Better retention – Engaged employees are less likely to leave your business, which saves time, money and effort to rehire employees.
- Less absenteeism – Engaged employees are significantly more productive, profitable and have less absenteeism.
- Greater job satisfaction – A happy, energised employee is a productive one. Full potential is activated when people are engaged. They use both their head and heart to perform their work.
- Mutual trust – Employees welcome each other’s opinions and are more open to learning or trying something new. A highly engaged workforce doesn’t need directions at each step. They are more likely to perform their jobs using collaboration and their initiative.
- Focused and adaptable – An engaged workforce is focused and knows what to do and when. They are keen to take up new challenges, solve problems and acquire new skills.
- More innovative – Employees’ become more enthusiastic and creative. Engagement creates an ignited workforce who are clear on purpose, connected and feeling fully alive in what they do and how they do it.
- Attracts the best talent – Employee engagement is the new currency offered by savvy employers. Businesses that authentically value their employees and create a buzz of energy in the workplace will attract the best talent and keep them.
Yes, absolutely! For most businesses the customer experience means everything. An employee who is focused and motivated to authentically help customers can leave a huge impression that encourages customers to come back. Conversely, a disengaged employee who only does the bare minimum to help a customer may discourage future visits. Consistently good customer service requires a committed, enthusiastic, engaged employee. Creating a highly engaged team requires managers to understand that employees, like all human beings, respond to emotional as much as logical factors in the workplace. Cultivating high levels of employee engagement helps businesses be mindful of the emotional side of the workplace. To achieve meaningful change, managers need to be aware of the emotional health of workers. Engaged employees’ will work harder to cultivate a relationship between the business and the customer, which is the basis of loyalty. Loyal customers are more resistant to competitors’ offers. That’s good news for your business.
The average cost of replacing a single employee is about $20,000 plus up to 1.5 times of their salary. Disengagement costs Australian businesses close to $33 billion annually. For every business, employee turnover is a huge drain yet could be minimised by focusing on engagement and appealing to the needs of employees. According to Gallup’s 2013 ‘State of the Global Workplace’ report, 60% of Australian workers are disengaged in their jobs. This means for every ten of your workers potentially six don’t care about your business and only put in the bare minimum of effort.
To guarantee business success you need engaged employees who:
- don’t just clock-in and clock-out
- are invested in the success of your business
- who are excited to come into work
- who never fake a sick day.