Even though improving employee engagement has been a common goal for many organizations for decades, employees aren’t feeling it. In fact, the lack of workforce engagement remains one of most persistent organizational challenges in business today.
According to the most recent statistics from the Gallup Organization, only 13 percent of worldwide employees are engaged. In the U.S., under a third of all employees are engaged, a number that’s been relatively stagnant for many years. That’s a whole lot of employees who aren’t interested in making their organizations stronger and more valuable.
And all this disengagement results in some strikingly poor performance. According to Gallup, it’s estimated that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 billion to $605 billion each year in lost productivity.
It’s Worth It to Do Better
On the other hand, research is also clear that organizations doing a better job of engaging their workforce see a significant improvement in overall productivity within the company.
And the benefits don’t stop there. As Gallup has found, organizations with highly effective engagement experience several positive outcomes. In our work with countless organizations around the globe and through independent research, we’ve also identified some key benefits from boosting engagement.
Payoffs that Come with Improving Employee Experience
Here’s just a quick look at some of the many payoffs that can come from improving the overall employee experience inside your organization:
1. More highly motivated workers.
Employees who report feeling valued by their employer are far more likely to report they are motivated to do their very best for their employer. A workplace survey conducted by the American Psychological Association with Harris Interactive found that employed adults who feel valued by their employer are significantly more likely to report being motivated to do their very best for their employer (93% vs. 33%). They are also more likely to report they would recommend their workplace to others (85% vs. 19%).
2. Better overall healthcare outcomes.
In an article for the Harvard Business Review, researchers Emma Seppala and Kim Cameron reported on the high cost of stress and disengagement in the workforce. “Although there’s an assumption that stress and pressure push employees to perform more, better, and faster, what cutthroat organizations fail to recognize is the hidden costs incurred,” the authors wrote. They reported that health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50 percent greater than at other organizations.
3. More effective leadership.
The most effective leaders connect with their employees and inspire them to do more. By engaging with team members, leaders boost morale, engagement and excitement. People don’t listen to leaders until they know and understand that those leaders care. Furthermore, Gallup has found that managers who focus on employees’ strengths can “practically eliminate active disengagement and double the average of U.S. workers who are engaged nationwide.”
Upside of Employee Engagement
And, consider these positive results from engaged workforces, also reported by Gallup in its latest comprehensive engagement study:
4. Lower absenteeism
Engaged employees make it a point to show up to work—highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism.
5. Lower turnover
Engaged workers are more likely to stay with their employers. In high-turnover organizations, highly engaged business units achieve 24% lower turnover.
6. Less theft
Highly engaged business units experience a 28% reduction in inventory loss and a 40% reduction in quality defects.
7. Fewer injuries
Engaged workers are more mindful of their surroundings. Work groups with engagement scores in the top quartile realize a 70% decrease in employee safety incidents in the workplace.
8. Higher customer scores / sales
Work groups with higher levels of engagement achieve 10% higher customer scores and a 20% increase in sales than those on the lower end.
9. Higher productivity / profitability
Work groups in the top quartile of engagement are more present and productive; they average 17% higher productivity, and 21% higher profitability.
Which steps do you plan to take to improve engagement for your team, and improve your organization’s overall performance?
Click below to download—The Leader Differential: 5 Steps to Thrive—and get essential tips for connecting and communicating with employees to achieve measurable, meaningful growth.