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What is employee engagement and why is it important?

by | Aug 28, 2020 | Articles

Our modern working environment as we plan for economic recovery will need to be more flexible than ever. Businesses which prioritise making sure their employees stay safe, informed, satisfied and challenged should see positive increases in employee productivity and contribution.

In fact, through COVID, studies show that employees working remotely are not only seeing more positive effects on their work, they are more engaged and now have a much stronger sense of their well-being in contrast to those still working within company grounds.

What is employee engagement?

Simply put, employee engagement can be defined by the commitment and dedication the employee has to their business. The more an employee is motivated by and cares about their work and the business as a whole, the more engaged they will be.

 

What about employee experience?

In contrast, employee experience is an extension of employee engagement, focusing on the employee’s personal experience across several touch points within the company. These may include their relationship with the technical, physical and cultural environment of the workplace.

The main difference is that employee experience is from the employee’s individual perspective, how they interact and react to the workplace’s entire environment.

There are some striking contrasts between employee engagement and experience and understanding how they work together is essential for any business keen on building stronger relationships between employee and business.

The morale of your employees goes a long way to ensuring positive employee engagement, a statement echoed by our CEO Cheryl Clemons:

When our employees are engaged and connected by a clear, shared purpose, they are more likely to invest in the work that they do. This leads to a stronger commitment to innovation, company growth and an excellent customer experience.
Lots of studies have shown a direct correlation between employee and customer engagement. The ability for people to learn, grow, share and actively contribute to an organisation is an important factor in employee engagement

 

Cheryl Clemons, CEO

Why is employee engagement important?

According to a Harvard business study, engaged organisations have double the success rate of those who are less engaged. So, without positive employee engagement, your business suffers. It’s no secret that if your employee’s morale is low and they are generally unhappy, they are not going to be as dedicated in their behaviour and therefore productive in their role.

 

Do incentives promote positive employee engagement?

While perks and incentives such as flexitime work structures, game rooms, social work hangouts and team lunches are certainly beneficial for staff morale, it’s often not enough to retain high levels of employee engagement.

And since COVID, flexibility has reached new, higher limits. Some companies are now saying that employees do not need to return to their workplace for the foreseeable future (if ever), as long as their engagement and productivity levels remain strong and they have the necessary equipment and support to ensure they perform their duties to an expected, high level.

 

How does money affect engagement?

While an employee’s paycheck may justify their title or the role that they play in the company’s growth, it may not necessarily encourage higher levels of engagement. A study conducted by the MSW Research and Dale Carnegie Training claimed that aside from money, there are three other crucial components that affect employee engagement, including:

  • The belief and trust the employee has in the company’s strategy and vision
  • Their relationship with the managers, directors, CEOs
  • And how much they enjoy and value being part of the company

All three of the above can be boiled down into two key factors; culture and communication. Ensuring that there is a clear and open communication channel between the employee and the business is essential for their wellbeing, career growth and of course, the impact they have on the business.

 

Developing culture in the workplace & improving employee engagement

Businesses must create a working environment where the employee naturally cares and has the potential to dedicate themselves to the improvement of the business.

For employees to actively involve themselves in the business, there must be clear communication channels and instruction. Let’s talk about communication first.

 

Communication

If employees are kept in the dark about important changes within the company, they begin feeling detached and therefore less engaged; they may also feel as though their role in the company doesn’t matter.

Communication between staff and employees is now more important than ever, due to the economic crisis and disruption that COVID has brought to businesses across the globe. Millions of businesses find themselves having to communicate more openly than ever about their employee’s futures, and failure to do this could lead to further confusion and even distrust towards the business.

This is why providing clear and concise information about the company’s future and how the employee’s role may change or adapt is important to keep them engaged and aware of their responsibilities.

 

 

Culture

Every company has a culture but it might not be the one they want. Recognising people who embody the culture a company strives for is extremely important, and rewarding behaviours that contribute to this will make them feel valued and respected.

Key factors that fall within the culture umbrella of a company typically include a set of policies, behaviours and values that ultimately form the internal processes of the company.

Positive culture = healthy and productive work environment

And communication plays a crucial role in ensuring a positive company culture. When combined, they create transparency, strong ethics and build trust between the employee and the company. This alleviates the risk of potential conflicts and tension within the company.

The best benefits of employee engagement

As briefly discussed, there are a few core benefits to successfully engaging your employees, primarily productivity and personal morale. We have created a list below of the main benefits that come with positive employee engagement.

1: Reduced risk of employee accidents and injuries

Employees who are more familiar with their workspaces are less likely to encounter accidents or injury. In one study, research showed that 70% fewer safety incidents occur in highly engaged workplaces.

2: Employees who are engaged are often happier

Employees who genuinely enjoy their job and the challenges that come with it are statistically happier than those who work to avoid contract termination or in a generally high-stress work environment.

Communication is at the heart of employee happiness, which is why many companies are now encouraged to hold more regular one-to-one check-ins and place a stronger focus on continuous performance feedback.

3: Engaged employees offer greater loyalty

Employees who genuinely care about the improvement and future of the company are likely to be more loyal to the business. An employee who is loyal to the company is more likely to turn down a job offer at another company because they have invested their own time and effort into developing the business they work for.

Additionally, 23% of employees said that more transparency regarding the overall health of the business would cause them to be more motivated, and 14% would be less likely to take a competing job offer.

FAQs

What are employee engagement strategies?

Employee engagement strategies look at developing and creating a positive connection between employee and business. For example, offering incentives against KPIs may boost employee productivity, similarly, ensuring the workplace offers a fun and inviting atmosphere will also boost morale.

Are engaged employees happier?

Employee engagement does not necessarily mean employee happiness, because while their morale is high, it bears no reflection on their productivity. There has to be a balance, the employee has to care about the company and be willing to work for the overall development and improvement of the company’s goals and aims.

 

Looking to keep your employees engaged in a new way?

Authentic, open communication is a proven way to increase employee engagement, and the StoryTagger app provides an excellent platform for both employees and managers to share knowledge and updates about their roles, activities and achievements.

Selfie video messages are a short, snappy and engaging way for senior leaders to build trust and develop personal relationships with their wider teams. Our app guides them through this entire process in a simple step-by-step interview format.

StoryTagger makes it easy for people to share their video stories, breaking down complex messages into bite-sized blocks. Capture anything from soundbites, 60-second snapshots or longer form content, and allow your employees to tell their story using pre-made templates from our topic library, or design your own interview frameworks.

 

 

See for yourself!

You can learn more about Storytagger by watching our quick and easy tutorial. After you’ve watched the tutorial, you’re ready to try our free-to-download app.

Alternatively, get in touch with our friendly team today for more information.

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