By now, you’ve probably heard a few fairly discouraging statistics related to employee engagement:
- The number of employees who are disengaged at work has averaged 70% for nearly two decades.
- US businesses lose $11 billion to staff turnover each year.
- The average company’s biggest productivity losses are often caused by less than 20% of employees who are “disengaged” or “extremely disengaged”.
With statistics like these, it can be easy to feel disheartened. The idea of measuring employee engagement might start to seem like an endless uphill battle — rather than a cause worth pursuing.
Thankfully, there’s more to the story. A lot more.
If you’re in need of a little inspiration, we have good news. Research continues to support the notion that taking steps to proactively measure and improve employee engagement can have a direct impact on productivity, profits, retention, and even the customer experience.
To help you understand what this means for your business, we’ve pulled together some key findings. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a curation of the most important stats, facts, and findings you’ll need to know as you begin to prepare your engagement strategies for 2020.
Employee engagement has a direct impact on profits
Investing in engagement initiatives isn’t just good for your employees. There are tremendous benefits for the bottom line, too:
- Companies with high and sustainable levels of engagement tend to have operating margins up to three times higher than companies with low or unsustainable levels of engagement (Willis Towers Watson).
- Studies show that businesses with the highest levels of employee engagement are 22% more profitable than those with low levels of engagement (Gallup).
- Organizations with higher than average employee engagement have been known to exceed the financial performance of their peers by 73% (University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School).
- In one recent case study, an Ohio-based manufacturer was able to increase profits 24% after measuring employee engagement (15five).
Employee engagement can fuel productivity and improve retention
By now, you may be wondering: How, exactly, does a focus on employee engagement lead to greater profits? The more engaged an individual becomes, the more productive he or she will be. And if you’ve struggled to reduce turnover or understand what makes workers want to stay, measuring employee engagement could be the solution you need:
- Engaged employees are 44% more productive than workers who merely feel satisfied.
- An employee who feels engaged and inspired is 125% more productive than the satisfied staffer. (Bain & Company)
- Companies with the highest levels of engagement are 21% more productive than those with low levels of engagement. (Gallup)
- By collecting and acting on employee feedback, one organization was able to increase production capacity by an astounding $3.8 million. (15five)
- Employees who find passion and purpose at work are more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations as those who don’t. (New York Times)
Higher engagement means a better experience for your customers
This is where the benefits of an effective employee engagement strategy really shine. When a company focuses first and foremost on taking care of employees, they’re more motivated to take care of customers:
- In one study, companies with engaged employees had 89% greater customer satisfaction and 50% higher customer loyalty than their disengaged counterparts. (Hay Group)
- The reason is simple: Customers are willing to pay 16% more for convenience and friendliness. (PwC)
- When they don’t get it, they leave. More than half (54%) of customers have stopped doing business with a company because of poor service. (Accenture)
And then there are the most important numbers of all…
Improving employee engagement starts with specific building blocks
It’s not enough to simply evaluate employee engagement. If you want to make measurable, long-lasting improvements, you’ll need to:
- Measure all 17 employee engagement drivers to get the complete picture.
- Survey your workforce a minimum of four times a year, along with other mission-critical KPIs and business metrics
- Segment results based on three or more categories — such as departments, teams, tenures, managers, and locations — to get to the heart of any issues.
As you can see, there are more reasons than ever to make employee engagement a top priority.