Employee Engagement is very low in U.S. based companies. Gallup in their 2017 report The State of The American Workforce found that only 33% of employe are engaged at work. This is important because highly engaged employees are emotionally committed to their organization’s goals and use their discretionary effort to go the extra mile on behalf of their organization. They also found the following in their survey:

  • 51% of employees are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings.
  • 21% of employees strongly agree their performance in managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.
  • 22% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization has a clear direction for the organization.
  • 15% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization makes them enthusiastic about the future.
  • 13% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization communicates effectively with the rest of the organization.

Conversely, Gallup found that organizations who rank in the top 25% of employee engagement found:

  • 41% lower absenteeism
  • 54% lower turn-over
  • 70% fewer safety incidents
  • 58% few patient safety incident
  • 40% fewer quality incidents
  • 17% boost in productivity
  • 20% higher sales
  • 21% higher profitability

In addition, the stock prices of organizations that are part of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” rose an average of 14% over a period of seven years, compared to 5% for the overall market, in other words, doing well for your employees results in doing well for your stockholders.

What do employees who are not highly engaged do? They might look for work elsewhere—or perhaps even worse, stay and do the bare minimum to remain employed. There are many studies that investigate why good employees leave their jobs. These studies have consistently discovered the following reasons for employee departure:

  • Lack of meaningful work
  • Lack of trust and respect
  • Lack of support from direct supervisors and management
  • Lack of appreciation
  • Constantly shifting priorities and reorganization
  • Feeling ignored or micromanaged
Organizations must choose to actively grow employee engagement in order to increase morale and productivity.  When correctly implemented, employee engagement is a comprehensive, strategic approach that creates positive, lasting results.
Establishing and strengthening emotional bonds between organizations and their employees is not a new concept by any means.  It goes without saying that today’s marketplace is extremely competitive and everyone could stand to increase their bottom line.   Strategic advantages that set organizations apart from another are hard to come by.  However, a distinctive factor each organization possesses is its employees with their unique backgrounds and experiences.
According to a report from the Gallup Organization, employee engagement falls into one of three levels:
  1. Actively Disengaged – employees who are fundamentally disconnected from their job. Disengaged employees are not only unproductive, but their attitudes and perceptions spread through the company, resulting in poor performance, lowered job satisfaction and decreased productivity.
  2. Not Engaged Employees – employees who simply come to work for a paycheck and complete their perceived job or functions for the company.  Day in and day out, these employees are not cheerleaders for the company or its objectives; however, they are not obstacles either.  In some instances, these employees are referred to as the “blind followers” or “sheep.” Who will they follow?
  3. Actively Engaged – employees who stand out from the others.  Actively engaged employees are strongly aligned with the organization’s objectives and goals, and they care about the company’s success.  They are always looking for ways to improve the company, as well as themselves.
Leaders must communicate and lead their employees toward the goals of the organization in order to facilitate engagement.  Surveys show that many managers often fall short in effective communication. This situation must be remedied.  When people understand company goals and the influence they have on their organization, they are more likely to embrace these goals as their own.
Employee engagement is a pressing topic for every industry. Engaged employees directly influence an organization’s bottom line.  Employee engagement programs are responsible for improved financial results, increased customer satisfaction rates, higher productivity, and better employee retention rates.  Companies can no longer choose to engage employees; it is imperative for survival.  Engaged employees are vital to building a successful organization.