Employee Engagement: How Important Is It Anyway? by Cindy Stradling CSP, CSL
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate or personalize the importance of employee engagement is to think back over your own work history. Most people have had a job, perhaps in high school or college, or maybe even later in life, that was seen as a necessary fact of life to be able to earn a paycheck.
These types of jobs lacked employee engagement. As the employee, you did the bare minimum, kept within the boundaries of the job expectations, and secretly waited for a better job offer to come along. There was no interest in working as a team, seeing the business or company succeed, or in making changes that would enhance the experience of working in the job.
The flip side of that coin is a job that encourages and promotes employees to be creative, to work for the common good of the business, and to be personally motivated to continue to add to the workplace culture. This is the engaged workplace, where all members of teams see themselves as valued, trusted, and necessary components in the business.
The Value of Engagement
In addition to creating a positive workplace culture, employee engagement creates an environment for creativity and innovation. People are willing to make suggestions and to think about ways to increase productivity, performance, and achievement.
They do this by having a deep understanding of their importance to the company. While every day may not be exciting and groundbreaking, they feel a part of growth and success, and they are recognized for both individual performance as well as overall corporate performance and meeting or exceeding goals and objectives. It is important to note that employee engagement is not about providing bonuses or perks to the job; it is about personalizing the aspects of the job to allow individuals to recognize their importance within the organization, department, or team.
Through the development of employee engagement strategies, individuals come to work with a clear understanding of the importance of their role in making the business a success. This includes all employees, from maintenance staff through to the CEO.
One of the most significant factors in employee engagement is the ability to retain the top employees. By allowing the employees the option to participate, contribute, and making changes, they develop an authentic appreciation and understanding of the business, which contributes to corporate loyalty and the desire to stay with the company and be a part of the shared success and growth.
Employee engagement is one of the most significant factors in developing a positive workplace culture as well as a reputation within the industry. Companies and businesses with poor employee engagement have higher staff turnover and greater challenges in recruiting talent.