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Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?

By: Casey Siewert Wednesday March 5, 2014 comments Tags: Employee Engagement, Human Resources, Recruiting

What is Employee Engagement, and why does it matter to my organization?

  • It is the heartbeat of your organization.

  • It's ensuring your employees care about the outcome of their work. Not just for the bottom-line, but to contribute to something bigger, and to have a purpose in their work.

  • It's making sure your top talent doesn't leave and go to your competition.

  • It's the reason your top talent wants to refer their top-talent friends to work with them.

Think it's not a big deal? You might be right. Then again, you might not have top talent.

If you work in the HR space, you mostly only think about how you can get people in your organization engaged. Stop! What would you, as an employee of your organization, want from your company? Take off your HR hat, and think like a true employee.

According to this Dale Carnegie white paper, a national sample of 1,500 employees surveyed indicated that there are 3 major drivers of employee engagement:

  1. Relationship with immediate supervisor

  2. Belief in senior leadership

  3. Pride in working for the company

All of this seems pretty straight-forward, but not all companies are nailing it.

Do you know how engaged your employees are? One good indicator is the amount of employees in your organization that participate in your Employee Referral Program. If you aren't getting many people in your organization that are actively referring people to open jobs, they might not actually want to work there either, and might be looking to be engaged elsewhere.

Are you spending 1.5x an employee's annual salary on recruitment costs because your turnover is so high? Is your competition yanking your industry's top talent? Think about investing some time and energy into your employee engagement strategy.

"Engaged employees believe that they can make a difference in the organizations they work for. Confidence in the knowledge, skills, and abilities that people possess - in both themselves and others - is a powerful predictor of behavior and subsequent performance." - Ivey Business Journal

You don't have to be a Google or a Facebook to nail employee engagement. Some of Glassdoor's Best Places to Work are nailing employee engagement in a few ways, including:

  • Creating an intentional culture

  • Appreciating contributions big & small

  • Committing to open, honest communication

  • Supporting career path development

The ingredients are simple, but the execution of the recipe is where it takes some more effort: listen to your employees, empower them to drive the business forward, support them, and give them the tools they need to advance in their career.

It ultimately takes 3 "chefs" to perfect the recipe: senior leadership, immediate supervisors and employees to make a culture of engaged employees, and everyone has their own unique part.

About the Author: Casey Siewert