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Is Low Employee Engagement Holding Your Company Back?


It’s hard to argue that employee engagement has become a hot phrase in the last decade. We all know that work is simply more fun when you’re enthusiastic about and dedicated to your job, but low engagement among employees can have far reaching results for companies too, resulting in high turnover, low team morale, and a loss of company profits.

Recent studies measuring workers’ dedication to their jobs have found alarming results. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, “85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work.” Not only that, but they estimate that only 13% of employees worldwide are actively engaged at work.

Now, it’s important for us to define what employee engagement is, and what it is not. Many companies will look at employee satisfaction or happiness in order to measure engagement, but job satisfaction is not directly linked to one’s performance at work. “Making employees happy is different from making them engaged,” writes Kevin Kruse in Forbes. Employee engagement, he insists, is rather an emotional commitment to one’s work. While investing in workplace wellness and team events can boost employees’ spirits, it may not help their engagement at work at all.

An engaged employee approaches their work with passion and conviction. They are dedicated to the mission of the company and use their talents and skills to drive the organization forward. A business full of engaged employees is propelled forward by the collective desire of its staff to continually improve and bring their best ideas to the table.

Low employee engagement has dire consequences, both for your employees and the organization. Gallup’s research points to catastrophic results for companies with low employee engagement, with approximately “$7 trillion in lost productivity.” Conversely, they have found that companies in the top quartile of engagement have seen the following:

10% higher customer metrics
17% higher productivity
20% higher sales
21% higher profitability

Netsurvey also estimates that businesses with an engaged staff “have 8,6 percentage points higher profit margins than companies with a larger share of bored employees.”

With such staggering statistics, it’s clear that companies need to start figuring out how to boost employees’ engagement at work. The question is, where to begin? Here at Innential, we’ve gathered some tips for guiding companies toward a holistic strategy for evaluating and boosting engagement at your company.

Evaluate engagement
With so many surveys and tools available today, take the time to ask your staff how devoted they are to their work. With anonymous surveys, employees can respond honestly to questions about their engagement and what they would like to see improved upon.

Talk to your staff
It’s possible that your team is less engaged because they don’t agree with the direction the company is going, feel alienated from their colleagues, or have simply become disengaged due to too much pressure. Schedule regular feedback meetings with individuals and teams where they can speak openly about their struggles.

Foster a collective spirit
More likely than not, everyone working at your company came on board because they believed in the organization’s mission. By fostering a team spirit and making sure everyone’s ideas are heard and integrated into the broader mission, you’ll find that employees will feel empowered to push the company forward through their own actions.

Invest in training
When workers feel as though they are constantly learning and growing, they are more likely to stay engaged and inspired. Work with your staff to learn what new skills they would like to learn and set aside a budget for their training needs.

Set realistic expectations
No one comes to work feeling empowered and inspired every day of the week. When evaluating employee engagement, remember that every person is different, and what it takes to motivate one employee to achieve their best may not be the same as for another.

By paying careful attention to employee engagement, you can keep your team happy and dedicated, while taking steps toward boosting profits and keeping your company strong. A company is only as strong as the sum of its parts, so when you boost employee engagement, you ensure that everyone is working together toward a common goal, thereby increasing the odds of true success.

At Innential, we offer detailed employee engagement assessments, as well as training and coaching to fit the needs of any company. If you are interested in driving your employee engagement forward, contact us at info@innential.com for a personal consultation.