According to a report by Harvard Business Review (HBR) Analytic Services on The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance, employee engagement has become a priority for senior managers. These managers report that staff who are highly engaged are usually highly innovative and productive, which increases the the bottom line and reduces the costs associated with sourcing and retaining the best minds in the business.

The report, which surveyed more than 550 executives, featured in-depth interviews with 12 best-practice company leaders. 71% of them ranked employee engagement as very important to the overall success of an organization.  72% of them also put the recognition given to high performers as very significant to employee engagement.

However, the same study revealed that only 24% of respondents felt that their employees were highly engaged despite the majority acknowledging how important engagement is. Those surveyed attributed low employee engagement to the following factors, among others:

  1. A clear gap between what executive managers and middle managers believe about employee engagement and how it should be handled.

  2. Difficulties in accurately measuring employee engagement levels and their impact on business performance, in terms of increased market share and customer satisfaction.

  3. Challenges in originating effective employee engagement ideas.

Another research report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) filed in 2014 provides insight into effective engagement ideas. This study surfaced that 86% of US employees reported overall satisfaction at their current jobs; a 5% rise from the previous year. 39% reported being very satisfied, and 47% were somewhat satisfied. These were the highest levels of job satisfaction recorded since 2009.

6 Employee Engagement Ideas

Employees who reported being satisfied with their jobs felt engaged. The key to increasing job satisfaction and reducing staff turnover is implementing creative and effective employee engagement ideas. The SHRM report also indicated the top five contributors to job satisfaction. They are as follows:

  1. Being treated with respect
    This was rated as very important by 72% who participated in the 2014 study which put it at the top as the most important factor in relation to an employee feeling satisfied with their job. Where they don’t agree, the approach from seniors should be to point out a way to improve their idea and never to shoot them down. It would also be good to have forums where employees interact outside the office and interact as individuals at community service projects, charity events and team-building activities.
  2. Trust with senior management
    This factor came in second in the study. 64% of those questioned said knowing they were trusted spurred them to work hard at keeping the trust.
  3. Overall benefits
    63% of employees rated these as important. Employees are constantly looking out for new opportunities that will reward their skills, experience and effort with benefits that make their lives and those of their families comfortable.  As the economy strengthens, employees are venturing out to see if they can find new employment opportunities.  Better, comprehensive benefits packages that have extra incentives will keep employees on.
  4. Compensation or pay package
    This factor was rated as very important by 61% of employees who participated in the study. Organizations would do well to also review compensation with a view to putting in place a total rewards program that incorporates both.
  5. Job security
    This was the fifth most important factor as rated by 59% of study participants. It was also the fifth most important factor in last year’s study. Job security remains important to employees but it has been surpassed by other factors given the current state of the economy.
  6. Factors to use when implementing these factors in employee engagement ideas
    Ideas that organizations come up with to keep their employees engaged should address these factors that employees rate as having an effect on how satisfied they are with their jobs. Employee engagement is about workplace conditions as much as the job itself. In the same study, employees rated other job satisfaction factors as follows:
    • 79% were satisfied with relationships with co-workers
    • 76% were satisfied with their contribution towards their organization’s goals
    • 75% found their job meaningful
    • 92% were confident that they could handle their job
    • 88% were determined to achieve their work goals
    • 76% clearly understood their organization’s mission and vision.

Getting it right

An organization that creates its employee engagement ideas around these findings will find that they retain the talent they have longer and will see maximum production from employees. The factors keep changing and it is important that an organization keeps up with the changes in annual review of their policies.

To learn more about keeping your employees engaged, contact us today.