For human resources professionals and people-leaders, it’s no surprise that employee engagement is critical to business success. But although employee engagement is a trending topic among HR circles, it can be challenging to quantify the tangible impact it has on your organization. Read below to discover how employee engagement programs increase employee productivity and shape positive company culture for the long-term!
What is Employee Engagement?
Before diving into how employee engagement boosts productivity, it’s important to get clear on what employee engagement is and isn’t. According to Forbes, employee engagement extends beyond employee satisfaction and runs deeper than employee happiness, which can fluctuate day to day.
An engaged employee is committed to both their company's mission and goals, and actively demonstrates their engagement through pro-social behaviors, rather than just emotions. These employees are your company's all-stars. Innovative, passionate, driven, and team player are a few common words that describe them. They're also quite rare. According to Gallup, only 31% of people are actively engaged, while 54% of employees identify as not engaged, meaning they are neither happy nor unhappy at work.
Not engaged employees put in a neutral amount of effort at work and don't go above and beyond the call of duty. Even more concerning is that 14% of employees are actively disengaged, or employees who spread unhappiness at work. Unfortunately, all organizations will encounter actively unhappy employees for a myriad of reasons, like personal circumstances or not being the right fit for the company.
Though actively disengaged employees should be addressed, it's important to note that the most effective employee engagement programs create initiatives that cater to the majority of your people, or the not engaged employees.
By creating initiatives that resonate with most of your company, you get the most ROI out of your program, and hopefully, maximum results. Now, let's dive into 7 statistics on how employee engagement programs increase productivity.
1. Highly Engaged Teams Increase Profitability by 21%
Having an engaged workforce benefits many aspects of your business. Aside from happier, more motivated employees, engaged teams also see increased revenue and profit. In fact, recent research shows that highly engaged teams are 21% more profitable. In addition, the top 20% of engaged teams have 41% less absenteeism!
Highly engaged teams put more energy and passion into their work, and the profit it generates is a positive effect of this. They’re also more innovative, collaborative, motivated, and hold themselves accountable for their performance. Rather than losing focus or remaining complacent in the face of challenges, engaged employees remain positive, action-oriented, and actively boost team morale.
Ready to put a plan in place for employee engagement? Start with our free action plan template!
2. Engaged Employees are More Likely to Stay with their Employers
With the Great Resignation remaining an ongoing challenge, organizations are experiencing a talent shortage. Prior to the pandemic, employers were able to choose from a large pool of candidates. As employees embrace new priorities at work, like work-life balance and flexible work environments, the U.S. is embracing the highest talent shortage in 10 years.
In fact, 69% of U.S. employers are struggling to find skilled employees. However, Gallup reports good news: in high-turnover organizations, highly engaged teams achieve 24% less turnover. In low-turnover organizations, engaged teams achieve 59% less turnover!
So what's the solution to increasing your teams' engagement and retention? Employees across all generations are craving meaningful and challenging work, flexibility, and competitive pay and benefits. Consider offering growth opportunities such as stretch assignments and training as well as flexible work schedules. You can also reevaluate the competitiveness of your compensation strategy to retain critical talent.
3. Values-Based Recognition Programs Enhance Meaning at Work
We all want to feel appreciated and recognized, and your employees are no exception. But did you know that the way in which you recognize your employees can create dramatically different results? The most effective recognition program is values-based recognition, or recognition that is tied to your company's values and business strategy.
In fact, 70% of employees adopt value-based recognition programs versus those that are not tied to company goals (30%). Employees that find meaning in their work and feel that they are contributing to the overall company mission are more driven to reach business goals.
Value-based recognition is also critical for developing a feedback culture, where employees regularly receive feedback and growth opportunities from their managers. Having open communication only further enhances productivity, meaning, and employee engagement.
Looking for ways to incorporate recognitions in your engagement strategy? Download our Employee Spotlight Guide!
Celebrate your team's wins and tie recognitions with company values through Cooleaf's recognition platform! More than a thank-you note, you can measure and incentivize productivity with our extensive rewards catalog, making it a win-win for both your employees and the bottom line.
4. Performance Incentives Lead to Higher Performance and Motivation
Employees are looking for more than just a paycheck and holiday bonus. More and more employees are prioritizing employee experience. While virtual events, employee resource groups, and mental health days have been gaining popularity, performance incentives also provide staff with a fun and memorable experience, all while increasing productivity!
When implemented effectively, performance incentives increase team performance by as much as 44%. Rewards programs also attract high-performing candidates, boosting productivity and enhancing employer branding.
Many organizations use the Cooleaf platform to adopt performance incentives for these reasons. For example, Shipt uses rewards to encourage team members to hit weekly benchmarks and deliver better customer service. Employees trade in points for items in a store or use points for gift cards! Read how Shipt adopted performance incentives.
5. Effective Employee Engagement Programs Act on Employee Feedback
Many managers are nervous to implement employee engagement programs because they're unsure of what to say or how to take effective action. The good news is that the key to employee engagement is to just ask! Employees who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work.
Employee engagement is more than just a survey, and treating it as an annual formality could do more harm than good. Employees who take an engagement survey and see no post-survey change from their company actually have lower engagement levels than the previous year.
That’s why Cooleaf uses the Listen, Engage, and Measure framework, which helps you increase employee engagement through pulse surveys, virtual programming, rewards & recognition, and most importantly, organizational and team actions that can be easily adopted by your organization.
6. Engagement Reduces Employee Absenteeism
Organizations with highly engaged employees see an 81% difference in rates of absenteeism. This is major considering that employee absences are a huge source of decreased productivity and company-wide morale.
7. Employees Who Feel Engaged Have Better Mental Health
Employee engagement is an excellent indicator of mental health. In a Gallup survey from February 2022, employees who reported they felt engaged at work were five times more likely to report that their job had an “extremely positive impact” on their mental health.
When mental health is in good shape, productivity follows. Employees with a positive relationship to their work environment are healthier overall, thus more likely to do work effectively and efficiently.