What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement definition
At Emplify, we define employee engagement as an employee’s emotional and intellectual connection with an employer, demonstrated by motivation and commitment to positively impacting the company vision and goals. For employers, the employee engagement definition is concerned with using new measures and initiatives to increase the positive emotional attachment felt and therefore productivity and overall business success.
When employees are engaged and committed to the vision and mission of the company, a subsequent path to value ensues. That’s a far cry from employees who are merely happy with their employers and satisfied with the work they do. An employee can be satisfied with a job that meets his or her basic needs and still feel no inspiration whatsoever.
And that’s a big deal. The more an employee is driven by passion and purpose, the more profound the bottom-line impacts will be for the business at large.
Benefits of employee engagement
There are many benefits of employee engagement, including lower turnover, increased productivity, and better company culture. Oh yeah, and higher profits: Willis Towers Watson reports that companies with high and sustainable levels of engagement have operating margins up to three times higher than companies with low or unsustainable levels of engagement.
Another study found that companies with the highest levels of employee engagement were 22% more profitable and 21% more productive than those with low levels of engagement. Another analysis found that organizations with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%.
Focusing on employee engagement can help you decrease turnover significantly. And turnover is a serious business problem to solve. Our research finds that nearly 73% of employees are currently open to new career opportunities and 33% are actively looking for new jobs. That’s a lot of people who might otherwise be a loyal employee if employee engagement strategies were in place.
Engaged employees are more productive employees too. Employee productivity is a metric that calculated based on the output on a project versus the amount of time it takes to complete. It can also be benchmarked against a group of workers doing similar work. We know employee engagement has a direct impact on employee productivity and thus, your bottom line.
Better retention, higher productivity, and a killer employee experience — the benefits of employee engagement are endless.
Improving employee engagement
The biggest question we often get from people leaders is how to improve employee engagement. But the answer isn’t a simple one. Improving employee engagement doesn’t happen overnight and there’s no magic bullet. Anyone promising you a technology or solution that’s a “quick fix” for employee engagement issues is selling you a bill of goods.
Improving employee engagement takes great insights and effective effort. It also requires guidance from an experienced expert, who understands your pain points and can work alongside you to find solutions that make an impact.
“With today’s increased competition for top-notch talent, and the huge costs to retrain new staff, engagement becomes more important than ever,” says author, public speaker and serial entrepreneur Gabe Zichermann in an article for CIO about improving employee engagement. “When engagement is low things can get off track really quick and it can spread like wildfire,” Zicherman adds. “Best practices are usually the process that falls apart when engagement is low, though best practices are what produce ideal outcomes.”
Employee engagement survey
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. So while employee engagement surveys alone won’t get you results, they are the first step in getting actionable employee feedback. When launching any kind of survey initiative, the most important thing leaders can do is deliver on promises and take meaningful action. This requires all-hands-on-deck in the organization, from executive leaders to mid-level managers. Buy-in from the team and a plan for operationalizing feedback creates a path to real business results.
Mid-level people managers are critical to employee engagement strategies. The more involved and enabled managers are, the better the chances of truly improving employee engagement. Enabling managers with actionable employee engagement data for their teams — based on insights from a statistically-valid employee engagement survey — can help them make more informed decisions to drive a highly-engaged, more productive team.
(Tip: Don’t try to write your own employee engagement survey questions. Work with a third-party vendor who can administer a reliable and valid employee engagement survey.)
Employee engagement software
According to CMSwire, the employee engagement software market comes in many different forms and names. At Emplify, we know there’s more to employee engagement than software alone. We believe the real work starts after the employee survey. That being said, a powerful and psychometrically-valid employee engagement survey is at the core of employee engagement software solutions.
We don’t hand people leaders some data and send them on their way. We pair our customers with an employee engagement strategist — a trusted advisor to guide them along their employee engagement improvement journey. Our solution combines employee engagement surveys with expert humans, to give you the insights you need along with a trusted advisor to help you take meaningful action.
Executives and HR leaders across the country are reducing turnover and building more engaged cultures with Emplify. Our customers find such great value in our solution that we have a 4.7/5 rating on G2 for the employee engagement software category. One reviewer said, “Emplify is far more than a well-researched engagement survey. The survey is exceptionally well done, but what’s even more outstanding is the coaching and feedback they provide at every step of the process. Their expert advisers are invaluable!”
Employee engagement strategies
An effective employee engagement strategy is unique to each organization. It starts with a reliable employee engagement survey software that allows HR leaders to pinpoint challenges, successes, and needs in the organization. From there, humans taking meaningful action is what drives employee engagement.
A solid strategy is based on employee engagement best practices. (We have a quiz that can help you determine how strong your strategy is in relation to the 6 employee engagement best practices.) No two employee engagement strategies will be exactly alike, as employees and their companies are unique. But using best practices can help you build a solid framework for your strategy.
Improving employee engagement is a team effort. Effective employee engagement strategies require buy-in from the CEO to the HR team to individual contributors. Employee engagement needs a person or team that truly owns it, and is responsible for aligning the team and executing on the strategy.
Employee engagement articles
Want to learn even more about employee engagement? Here are links to some helpful employee engagement articles and videos:
Employee engagement ideas
Employee engagement questions
Employee engagement activities
Ready to start seeing the benefits of employee engagement in your own organization? Learn more about employee engagement with Emplify.