As an HR professional, the definition of employee engagement is connected with your job. You may have already had to come up with ideas that will engage your employees more in order to boost their performance.
However, let’s take a moment to review and understand what employee engagement truly entails.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is more than just job satisfaction. It’s about an employee’s passion and commitment to their work and their company’s mission.
Engaged employees are invested in their roles and are motivated to go above and beyond their job duties. They feel a sense of belonging and purpose, which drives their productivity and performance.
HR professionals are responsible for creating an environment that promotes engagement, from hiring the right people to implementing policies that encourage employee involvement and recognition.
What employee engagement is not
Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction.
A satisfied employee may be happy with their job and workplace conditions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re engaged. Engagement goes beyond satisfaction; it involves a deep emotional commitment and a willingness to put in extra effort for the success of the company.
Benefits of good employee engagement
Engaged employees are more productive, more customer-focused, and more likely to stay with the company.
According to a 2022 Gallup report, 32% of employees in the U.S. and 23% worldwide are engaged in their work. However, in best-practice organizations, this figure rises to 72%.
Companies with a highly engaged workforce show a 41% reduction in absenteeism, 28% less shrinkage, and a 41% reduction in quality defects.
Organizations should pay attention to this and make more efforts to increase their employee engagement rates.
But how can you increase these rates for your organization? Let’s delve into some good examples.
Good examples of employee engagement
Companies like Google and Microsoft are renowned for their high levels of engaged workforce.
They achieve this by fostering a positive work culture, offering opportunities for growth, and recognizing employee contributions.
For instance, Google’s ‘20% time’ policy, which allows employees to spend 20% of their time on personal projects, has led to innovations like Gmail and Google News.
Microsoft has a program called “Hackathon” which is the largest private hacking event in the world. Employees from all over the globe come together to create and innovate, working on projects they’re passionate about.
This event fosters a sense of engagement and camaraderie among employees.
Workable, also, participates in this program giving employees the opportunity to express themselves and increase their productivity.
Related: Top employee engagement ideas to achieve success
Best practices for employee engagement
Several factors are responsible for a highly engaged workforce, including overall satisfaction, clear expectations, availability of equipment, opportunities to do what one does best, recognition, care and encouragement at work, mission/purpose, commitment to quality work, talking about progress, and opportunities for learning and growing.
Best practices include:
- regular communication
- recognition of employee achievements
- providing opportunities for professional development
- promoting work-life balance
It’s also crucial to gather and act on employee feedback, ensuring that employees feel heard and valued.
Understanding and implementing effective employee engagement strategies is crucial for any organization’s success.
Related: Team engagement ideas at work to boost productivity
As HR professionals, it’s our responsibility to create a work environment that fosters engagement, driving productivity, and business growth.
Let’s continue to learn, adapt, and innovate in our approach to create a highly engaged workforce.
Frequently asked questions
- What does employee engagement mean?
- Employee engagement goes beyond job satisfaction; it's about employees' emotional commitment to their work and the organization's mission.
- How does employee engagement differ from employee satisfaction?
- Employee satisfaction relates to happiness with job conditions, while engagement involves deep emotional commitment and extra effort for the company's success.
- Why is employee engagement important?
- Engaged employees are more productive and customer-focused, reducing absenteeism and improving overall business performance.
- What are some examples of high employee engagement practices?
- Google's '20% time' policy and Microsoft's 'Hackathon' are examples where employees are encouraged to work on personal projects, fostering engagement.
- How can organizations foster employee engagement?
- Practices include regular communication, recognition, professional development opportunities, work-life balance, and acting on employee feedback.