6 Unexpected reasons why employee engagement is important

Written by: the Officevibe Content Team
Published on May 26, 2017 | Reading time: 4m

The real question companies need to be asking is not “why is employee engagement important”, but rather, “why isn’t employee engagement important?”

Considering that only ⅓ of employees in the United States are engaged, and according to the shocking findings from our real-time State Of Employee Engagement around the globe, it’s clear that the issue of engagement in the workforce can no longer be swept under the proverbial rug.

In fact, Harvard Business Review recently referenced employee engagement as: “The holy grail of today’s workplace”.

This post will look at 6 unexpected reasons why it’s important for companies to focus on employee engagement, and offer simple tips for managers to start engaging their teams today.

Shocking stats about engagement

  • 51% of employees are searching for new jobs.
  • Disengaged employees cost organizations up to $550 billion annually.
  • Teams that address engagement perform: 20% better in sales and 10% better in customer engagement.
  • Companies with engaged employees see 41% less absenteeism.
  • 48% of employees report being unhappy at work.
  • Highly engaged companies see a 17% increase in productivity.

Make sure you never have disengaged employees again. Get our guide.

Download the complete checklist of the 10 most important metrics for employee engagement.

Cover- The 10-point cheklist to see if your employees are engaged

Why employee engagement is important

1. Investing in employee engagement helps retain talent

Ultimately, companies want to retain talent, nurture employees, and build strong, lasting teams. But, when employees are disengaged, there’s the risk that they are actively searching for another job. According to Deloitte’s Josh Bersin, employee turnover can cost up to 2.5X the employee’s salary, considering:

  • The cost of hiring
  • Cost of onboarding
  • Loss of productivity
  • Loss of engagement
  • Training costs
  • Cultural impact

Communication is key: Suggest to managers that they hold monthly one-on-one meetings so employees can express themselves, and integrate a continuous feedback tool into your teams so employees can share their thoughts anonymously.

2. Disengaged employees cost companies money

Employee engagement can seem intangible. We get it. But it’s costing the US alone approximately $550 billion dollars a year. We created an interactive ROI calculator, so you can measure the return on investment that your company will earn by investing in employee engagement.

You can check it out here.

Create a culture of recognition: Giving credit and praise for your employees’ hard work gives them the validation that they are being seen and respected. They will reciprocate your recognition with hard work.

3. Employee experience = Customer experience

Whether or not your employees ever meet or interact with your customers, they are still very much connected, and they are equally as important.

The experience that your employees have at the office translates to the experience that your customers have with your brand.

When employees are engaged, they are more invested in what they put out, and the customer will feel that in the product or service they receive.

Offer benefits that show you care:
Offering benefits and perks such as the opportunity to work remotely or flex hours will help your teams remain engaged as they will feel that you care about their needs as people, and not only workers.

4. Engaged employees show up to work

Disengaged employees don’t enjoy coming to work. They either feel stressed and overwhelmed, resulting in absence due to sickness, or they find excuses not to come in, because they simply don’t want to be there. Absenteeism is problematic as it results in lost productivity, delayed deadlines, lower team morale and subsequently, resentment between employees.

Ultimately, you want your employees to WANT to come to work. Yes, it’s possible.

Make your office environment fun: Look around you. Is it inviting? Try to create a space that is enticing. Hang motivational quotes on the walls, and create interesting workspaces that are conducive to creativity and brainstorming.

At Officevibe, we have the “green room” – a sort of utopic work area with hammocks and trees that inspire out-of-the-box thinking.

Photo representing our green room at Officevibe

We also have a ping pong room for a kick of fun and rejuvenation between tasks.

Photo representing our ping pong room at Officevibe

5. Engaged employees are more positive

Positivity and negativity are contagious, both in and out of the workplace. When you have even just one disengaged employee, their negative attitude and unhappy demeanor will penetrate the moods of the rest of the team, either elevating or bringing down the morale.

When employees are engaged and happy, the work environment becomes inspiring, creativity flows, confidence grows, and anything becomes possible.

Anything is possible in an inspiring workplace.

Inspire positivity: The best way to inject positivity into your team is to lead by example. You and your managers set the mood and tone for the day the moment they walk into work. Smile, say good morning, communicate and interact with a positive nature.

6. Engaged employees are the most productive

Disengaged employees are often very unproductive as they have lost interest in their day to day tasks. This affects the output and quality of work, therefore affecting customer satisfaction, retention and profits.

One common reason for lack of productivity and disengagement is that employees do not connect with their tasks, or are uncertain of their roles and what is expected of them.

Boost productivity on your teams: Make sure that from day one, employees are aware of what is expected of them. Clarity is extremely important. Check in with your teams often to make sure that everyone is aligned with the work they are doing, and ensure that your employees are doing what they love, because that’s what drives motivation.

Don’t forget to grab this free employee engagement checklist on your way out. The way we divide the ten metrics of employee engagement will be really helpful in understanding where you need to start.

Thanks for reading on the importance of employee engagement

Taking the time to go through this post means you really care about your workplace and its people. Keep up the great work!

The Engagement Institute