Working to Foster Employee Engagement
There are many benefits of employee engagement including:
- High quality customer service
- Better employee retention
- Increased employee productivity
- Raised customer loyalty
- Better growth
- Increased profits
Recognition and reward programs are one of the best ways to increase employee engagement. Managers need a process in place for consistently recognizing and rewarding employees who demonstrate desired behaviors and go above and beyond. In fact, companies with recognition programs have 14% better employee engagement on average. Although there are many factors that go into having engaged employees, like opportunities for growth, employees who are recognized will feel more engaged at work.
Doing Nothing to Foster Employee Engagement
If you don't specifically target employee engagement as an initiative, you may be just fine. Or you could end up with high turnover, low customer satisfaction and employee productivity could take a dive. It is amazing to think how much turnover alone costs US businesses each year: $11 Billion (yes, Billion with a capital B!). Turnover isn't the only cost you could be incurring though. When employees are engaged, you may be able to increase discretionary effort. This term means how quickly people work, how often they take breaks or chat with co-workers. Business Journal earlier this year cited a study in which companies with engaged employees had 21% higher productivity. That's like getting an extra day a week from each engaged employee!
There seems to be an attitude that low employee engagement is just the status quo in certain industries. That it is unavoidable and inherent in the industry. This just isn't true! A recent study in the UK evaluated brands based on their actions, recommendations and engagement. Here were the results:
- #1-Cadbury (Manufacturing/Retail/Food Industries)
- #2- John Lewis (Retail Industry)
- #3- Amazon (Retail Industry)
- #4- Weetabix (Food Industry)
- #5- PayPal (Tech/Retail Industries)
In the US, there are many brands that stand out as having highly engaged employees. Costco, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks are all at the top of the list and all have happy, engaged employees working for them.
As we approach the end of the year, are you thinking about what you are going to do about employee engagement in your own workplace? What will happen next year if you decide to do nothing?
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