The 9 Keys to an Engaged Employee

When you first start a small business, there is often a true sense of excitement not only for the work you are doing but the potential for what the company can become. For successful businesses, growth is a necessary part of continued expansion and improvement. However as the business continues to grow, adding employee after employee, there is often a loss of excitement. Individuals which once came to their job with purpose can often begin feeling like a cog in a big machine and lose their passion for their job.

According to a Gallup study, disengaged employees cost US economy more than 370 billion dollars a year. However the impact of a disengaged workforce is not only limited to financial considerations, 59% of engaged employees say their job brings out their creative side compared to only 3% of disengaged workers. These creative ideas from employees are often ones which can shape a company’s future. At one time Google employed a 20% time policy, which allowed employees to devote 20% of their time to passion projects which intrigued them. While the company no longer employs this strategy,  it counts Gmail and Adsense as two specific 20% projects that have become core pieces of its business.

In addition to the business loses there are a number of other powerful statistics on employee engagement including:

  •      37% lower absenteeism
  •      25% lower turnover (in high-turnover organizations)
  •      65% lower turnover (in low-turnover organizations)
  •      48% fewer safety incidents
  •      10% higher customer metrics
  •      21% higher productivity
  •      22% higher profitability

Clearly developing a plan around ensuring your employees are engaged is an often-overlooked aspect of driving your business to success. So how can your business ensure its employees are not mindless drones, but engaged participants working not only for their paycheck but the success of the company as well?

Towers Watson spoke with over 32,000 employees across the world in an effort to determine what factors drove increased engagement. Their findings shine a light on how employers can improve the engagement of their employees. By focusing on these nine areas you can start improving your employee engagement and increasing the productivity of your staff, they are:

  •      A belief in company goals and objectives
  •      An emotional connection (pride, would recommend employer)
  •      A willingness to give extra effort to support success
  •      The freedom from obstacles to success at work
  •      The availability of resources to perform well
  •      The ability to meet work challenges effectively
  •      The ability to maintain energy at work
  •      A supportive social environment
  •      A feeling of enthusiasm/accomplishment at work

So how can you leverage this knowledge to improve your own employee engagement?

First, it is important to get a sense from your employees on what they think not only about their job but the company as a whole. In some cases these feelings will be self-evident; if you have a staff which routinely arrives at work just before they are supposed to, and leaves immediately as their shift ends, these are signs of an unengaged office. In other cases leverage survey tools such as SurveyMonkey and poll your staff on whether they would recommend the business to a friend or family member, if they would not find out why! In addition work with your employees and managers to ensure everyone in the company is both aware of the company’s goals and objectives, and understands how their job enables the company to meet those goals.

About author

Joseph Brady
Joseph Brady 21 posts

Joseph Brady has been involved in growing businesses since 2004. Focused on improving their marketing efforts both on and offline, he has spent considerable time working as a search engine marketing consultant assisting business increase both the quantity and quality of web traffic.

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