Savvy business leaders will realize optimizing for organizational success isn't solely defined by profit margins or market share. At its core lies a fundamental driver: employee engagement. Why? Because it is your people who make your business. Yet, according to a Gallup report, only 32% of US employees are engaged at work.  

What is Employee Engagement?

Imagine a workforce where dedication isn't just a duty, but a heartfelt devotion. That's the essence of employee engagement: an emotional commitment leading to increased productivity, loyalty, and satisfaction on a shared journey towards success. When employees feel deeply connected to their organization's mission, values, and objectives, magic happens. They become the driving force behind innovation, efficiency, and unparalleled achievement.  

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Employee engagement plays an important role in boosting productivity and creating a thriving culture in your organization. How exactly?  

  • Engaged employees are more likely to invest extra time, effort, and initiative to contribute to the achievement of business goals.  
  • They feel a sense of purpose toward their role and bring enthusiasm, passion, and energy to the work they do, improving workplace culture and improving retention.  
  • Engaged workers are typically higher performers and produce better results for the customer and company.  

Data suggests employers in the US see that for every $1 invested in supporting common mental health issues translates $4 return in improved health and productivity. That’s not surprising when it’s estimated that job stress costs American companies more than $300 billion each year.

For employee engagement initiatives to be successful, they must be tailored to the unique needs and motivations of everyone.  

How to Improve Employee Engagement in Five Steps  

Inspiring Leadership: Competent, passionate, and hands-on leadership is critical to employee engagement. Showing a genuine interest in your employees and investing time in understanding their needs and aspirations will help send the message that their contribution is valued. Check in with them regularly to find out how their experience in the workplace can be improved. Find out what motivates them and how they define success so you can create a rewarding environment in which they can thrive.  

Growth and Opportunity: Engaged employees who are given the opportunity to adequately use their skills are encouraged to stretch those skills to progress. A recent survey of 126,000 workers revealed that 37% crave training opportunities and 23% revealed not having any opportunities for professional development.

Talk to your employees about their career plan and ask:  

  • Does their current role make full use of their strengths and abilities?  
  • Is their career moving in the direction they desire?  
  • Are there new or interesting projects they can work on to expand their skill set?  

Discuss the training and development opportunities that can help them advance within the company and provide clear, consistent feedback on how they can improve their performance.  

Meaningful Work: Engaged employees believe that the work they are doing is important and has value. They believe they are contributing to something meaningful and take pride in the results of their efforts. As a manager, it is crucial to frequently reinforce the importance of your employees’ roles and help them to see the direct connection between their activities and company success.  

Offer clear, constructive employee feedback, set goals, and challenge your employees to meet them to promote a sense of purpose. Grant them the autonomy to improve the way things are done and involve them in decisions to help them feel a sense of ownership.  

Recognition and Rewards: For employees to be motivated to give their best, they need to know their efforts will be recognized and rewarded. Regularly thanking them for their efforts demonstrates your awareness of their hard work and provides encouragement for them to boost their performance.  

Make the time to celebrate accomplishments by rewarding and recognizing employees in ways that are meaningful to them. While competitive pay and good benefits are key motivating factors, providing incentives for higher performance gives employees something extra to strive for.  

Benchmark your workforce’s salaries against market trends in your industry to remain competitive.  

Download Our 2024 Salary Guides

People-Focused Culture: Companies that reap the benefits of an engaged workforce understand that people are their greatest asset. Help people feel valued and heard by:  

  • Implementing initiatives that enable employees to balance work and home life more easily, such as step-count incentives to promote screen breaks.  
  • Encourage employees to balance hard work with socializing and fun by supporting company-wide activities that build relationships.  
  • Create an open, welcoming environment by promoting the sharing of ideas, suggestions, and improvements. For example, share regular anonymous employee surveys to gain feedback.  

A work environment in which people feel a sense of camaraderie is critical to employee engagement.  

For more ways to keep employees motivated, read through these 7 Things That Should Be Said More at Work.

What's Next?  

From crafting job descriptions to conducting interviews, each step offers a chance to foster alignment between candidates and your company's ethos.  

Recruitment isn't just about filling positions—it's about shaping your company's future. At Michael Page, we know that hiring engaged talent sets the stage for lasting success. With us, find candidates who share your values and drive, ensuring a workforce that's committed from day one.  

Contact us today and let's build your team of passionate, dedicated achievers.  

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