At Work: Employee Engagement Benefits Everyone

Jim Priest

Do you like your job? Are you very committed and derive great satisfaction from your work? Are you connected and committed to your organization’s mission?

If so, you are in the minority. Greatly. Here’s what a recent Gallup survey revealed:

8o+% of employees do not feel engaged in the workplace

17.5% of employees are actively disengaged

47% of American workers say their job is just something they do for a living

39% of employees feel undervalued at work

81% of employees consider leaving their jobs for better offers

Hourly employees are 10% less engaged than salaried employees

Do you feel discouraged? Wait. There is a benefit ahead.

C-suite leaders who understand the importance of engagement say it poses the biggest challenge for their businesses in a post-Covid world. This has always been a major concern. But now he’s waving red flags at us.

There are many definitions of employee engagement (also known as “employee experience” or EX), but here’s a good one from Kevin Kruse, CEO of Leadx, who wrote in Forbes:

“Employee engagement is the employee’s emotional commitment to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means that engaged employees actually care about their job and their company. They don’t just work for a check payroll, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals They are committed – they use discretionary effort.

Listen to this? “They use discretionary effort.” They go the extra mile. Isn’t that what all organizations want? Employee engagement is a 360 degree benefit where everyone involved, the company and the employees, gets an advantage.

The organizational benefits of increased employee engagement are numerous and measurable:

· 70% fewer security incidents. Companies ranked in the top 25% for employee engagement saw a 48% decrease in security incidents.

· 21% more profitability. Organizations in the top quartile of engagement see it. Greater productivity is a component of greater profitability.

· Four times more revenue. This is what organizations with high levels of engagement experience.

· Increased work performance, reduced turnover. Deloitte research shows that increased engagement improves job performance by 56% and leads to a 50% drop in turnover.

· Reduced absenteeism. Research indicates that there is an established inverse relationship between engagement and absenteeism, with engagement reducing absenteeism by 75%.

· Promotes greater confidence and vice versa. According to the Harvard Business Review, employee trust and engagement have a direct correlation. Employees at high trust companies show 76% higher engagement and 50% higher productivity. Amazingly, there are 106% higher energy levels, 29% higher satisfaction, 40% lower burnout, and 76% lower stress levels.

Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma recently hired its first “Employee Engagement Specialist” whose primary task is to promote, measure and build employee engagement among our more than 800 employees. We are an “employee first” organization and to achieve this, we must meet the needs of employees and ensure that they feel engaged. This is another intentional step towards that goal. I’ll tell you how it works. In the meantime, think about the level of engagement in your organization and what you could do to increase it.

Jim Priest is president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma.

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