• April 24, 2017

How—and why—employee engagement works

How—and why—employee engagement works

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Some employees go to work wishing they were somewhere else. They sleepwalk through their tasks, wishing they were doing something else.

Others go to work with a spring in their step. They tackle every task with gusto. They take pride in what they do. These employees “engage” with their work, and are driven to succeed.

As an employer, of course, you want enthusiasm in your workers, not detachment. But here’s a secret: employee engagement starts with you.

Inspiring engagement at work takes empathy, foresight, and strategic planning on your part. The good news is this: the payoff of having engaged employees is much greater than the investment you must make.

Why engagement matters

Engaged employees are more productive, enthusiastic, and passionate about their work than those who sign up just for the paycheck. Their habits and attitudes help employers in myriad ways:

  1. Increased engagement = increased productivity.

Engaged employees care about what they do, and take pride in their work.

An engaged employee feels connected to his company and espouses its cause. He wants to excel in his job because he believes it is valuable and is helping him grow as a person. This belief makes him passionate about and focused on his work. He is eager to learn more and improve his skills. A continuous drive to excel improves productivity.

  1. Engaged employees are more creative.

Because engaged employees focus on their work, they tend to have more creative ideas for solving problems and streamline processes.

They keep abreast of the ideas and developments shaping their industry, mingle with other creative people, and takw time to reflect on their work.

Engaged employees are the creative geniuses, innovators, and problem-solvers of an organization.

  1. Their positivity is contagious. 

The enthusiasm that engaged employees bring to their work rub off on others. Engaged employees, brimming with ideas, draw people in, spark conversations, and ignite passion.

  1. They become brand ambassadors. 

There’s nothing like a happy employee to spread the good word about you and your company. You thus attract high-caliber talent without spending more on advertising.

  1. They stay with you for longer periods.

Engaged employees feel connected to their company’s cause. They think that, by staying, they will have more opportunities to progress, prosper, and make a difference.

The Key to Employee Engagement

An engaged workforce makes your company 51 percent more productive, earns more for your shareholders, and increases your operating income by 19 percent per year.

One key eemployee engagement factor: worker wellness. The more energy and vitality your employees have, the better they will be able to perform to their fullest potential.

Employee obesity, for instance, a harbinger of sundry chronic medical conditions, costs employers $45 billion a year in health costs and productivity, according to a report by BlueCross BlueShield. Likewise, each worker who smokes costs their employer $3,400 a year.

The benefits of wellness are well-documented and well-publicized. From chronic medical conditions to behavioral disorders, most health woes in the U.S. stem from lifestyle choices. In 2016, more than two-thirds of U.S. employers offered preventive health and wellness programs.

Employees like wellness programs. About two in three say they are keen to take part in corporate wellness programs, and 20 percent don’t mind paying. Eighty-eight percent say access to health and wellness programs are a critical criterion for choosing an employer.

By offering wellness programs such as the HOPE platform, you tell employees and job seekers that you care about their well-being and helping them to fulfill their highest potential. This is a powerful message: people want to grow professionally, personally, spiritually, and emotionally. How delightful if they can nurture mind, body, and spirit at work.

Feeling cared for, employees will return the sentiment. The result: employee engagement. Feeling at one with you and your cause, they’ll be more likely to strive to make your dreams come true.

–Yasmin Ali