Grace Smith
January 31, 2024

Employee engagement is one of the most important indicators of job satisfaction. Today's employees crave more than just a paycheck, they seek engagement, a sense of belonging, and flexibility.

A recent Global Capital Trends survey highlighted the importance of belonging.

79% feel it's crucial for their organization's success in the coming year, while 93% believe it boosts performance.

Employee engagement has become a critical success factor for organizations across industries. When organizations prioritize and promote employee engagement, they offer a wide range of benefits that can transform their entire operation.

In this article, we'll explore:

What is Employee Engagement, and What is it Not?

Employee engagement is a term that describes the emotional connection and commitment of employees to their work and organization.

This does not only mean job satisfaction or creating a happy work environment, but rather a deep sense of purpose, involvement and fulfillment of the organization's goals.

Dedicated employees are happy to relocate, are proactive and actively seek ways to contribute to the success of the organization. It is important to note that employee engagement cannot be enforced or achieved through benefits and perks alone. It comes from the true involvement and personal commitment of employees to their work and the organization.

By understanding what employee engagement really means, organizations can design strategies and initiatives that foster a positive and engaged workforce, resulting in many benefits for both employees and the organization as a whole.

4 key drivers of employee engagement

The following are the key characteristics and drivers of employee engagement.

  1. Loyalty
  2. Obligation
  3. Mutual trust between employers and their employees
  4. Belief in the culture of the organization

Let's dive into each in detail.

Loyalty 

Employees who are strongly committed to their work demonstrate stronger organizational loyalty. The main characteristic is that they require less time and focus from their superiors to complete their tasks, because they feel responsible for their work responsibilities and the results achieved.

However, active people will not last long if the organization does not have a well-established incentive system. Recognition is important for people to move forward in their careers. 

Obligation

It refers to the extent to which employees identify with their work, responsibilities and larger organizational goals. Engaged employees are people who commit to their tasks/responsibilities and are determined to overcome any obstacles to achieve their goals. They are responsible for their actions and because they are reliable and productive. 

Mutual trust between employers and their employees

A consistent and strong paradigm of employee engagement can only be created if there is trust  between both parties - the employer and the employee. Employees should be given the freedom to perform their duties as they please, which shows the company's trust in them.

They should not be constrained by strict policies and guidelines and should be encouraged to try new ideas to fulfill their duties in new and creative ways. Every good leader/manager asks their team crucial questions to assess their thoughts and feelings at work.

Belief in the culture of the organization 

Culture is closely related to employee engagement. Engaged employees embrace and follow the company's culture, making them strong advocates for the organization. In addition to paid work that results in fair compensation, employees do much more because they support their employer's culture and want it to succeed.

Employee Engagement Statistics

We’ve compiled interesting employee engagement stats we think you’ll benefit from knowing.

Employee Engagement Statistics
Employee Engagement Statistics

🔎 39% of employees said they would work harder if they are happy in their current role or place of work.

🔎 12% of businesses are happy with current levels of employee engagement.

🔎 51% of employees would quit their job if training was not offered. (Udemy)

🔎 60% of Americans would take a job they love over a job they hate, even if the preferred position paid half the amount of salary they would earn at the job they dislike. (Lexington Law)

🔎 21.5% of employees who don’t feel recognized for doing great work have interviewed for a job in the past three months vs. 12.4% who do feel recognized. (TINYpulse)

Top 12 benefits of Employee Engagement

The benefits are surprisingly diverse, ranging from share prices to workplace safety. Employee engagement is a strong indicator of an organization's success because many of its influencing factors are interrelated.

Let's look at the 10 of the most intriguing benefits in detail.

1. A decrease in absences

Although each organization is unique, workplace absenteeism is a common issue because it not only impacts employees but is also perceived as a management issue. If absenteeism is not handled, it can become out of control and cost an organization a lot of money.

Disengaged employees have an 18% lower productivity rate, a 15% lower profitability rate, and are 37% more likely to take time off work. [Zippia]

On the contrary, highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to voluntarily leave their job. [Wellable]

Furthermore, a Gallup study showed that highly engaged workplaces showed a 41% lower absenteeism.

2. Greater innovation and creativity 

When people are engaged, they are more inclined to share their thoughts, ideas, and insights. They are also more likely to think creatively, contribute to new ideas, and process improvements. Employers who place a high priority on employee engagement enjoy a more inventive and creative staff, which boosts competition and adaptability.

3. Better safety for workers 

Safety in the workplace is huge! This affects the company's sales, marketing, customer service, employer branding and  acquisition of expertise.

Employees who are ready for work and constantly connected to the work environment are more committed to the quality and safety of work. When they are in the right frame of mind and are not distracted or stressed, they are better able to concentrate, which means they are less likely to make mistakes that can lead to workplace accidents.

Engaged employees in a stable and reliable workplace have been shown to be more active, resulting in 70% fewer safety incidents. [LumApps]

Employers must therefore ensure that occupational health and safety regulations are followed and kept up to date. This is just as important for factory workers as it is for office workers.

4. Stronger employee-organizational alignment

Engaged employees are aware of and support the mission, values, and goals of the company. They have a sense of direction and kinship with the organization's goals. A unified and cohesive staff that is working towards common goals results from this alignment.

5. Better customer service 

Customer service and customer success are important factors in a successful business. After all, most businesses rely on growing and retaining customers.

Employee engagement improves the customer service you receive from your business, which is good for customer retention, additional sales and customer referrals. When employees are happy and engaged, they are more likely to care about customers and go above and beyond to ensure a great experience for customers and clients.

Engaged employees help their organizations improve customer relationships. In fact, highly engaged business units report a 10% increase in customer ratings and an 18% boost in sales. [Gallup]

6. Better employee protection and an attractive employer brand 

One of the biggest benefits of employee engagement is employee empowerment. Engaged employees are happy and proud to work for their employers, which is why most of them naturally become brand ambassadors for their organization. 

7. More teamwork and collaboration

While managers are crucial for fostering engagement, a single committed team member can positively influence the entire team's involvement.

Peer-to-peer recognition often bolsters trust and collaboration within the team. Implementing an employee recognition system can further amplify this effect.

8. Greater job satisfaction 

As we saw many statistics related to job satisfaction earlier, we can conclude that enhanced job satisfaction is a prominent benefit of employee engagement.

Most professionals spend at least forty hours a week at work. Given the significant time spent working, job satisfaction directly influences overall life contentment. A good job satisfaction can lead to overall satisfaction at life.

According to Zippia, 37% of employees consider recognition to be one of the most important factors for job satisfaction. This is a call to action for managers! Implementing recognition programs, encouraging peer-to-peer recognition, and rewarding high-performers can do wonders for employee engagement.

9. Better relationships 

Attitude plays a big role in magnetism. People flock around passionate and positive people because these people make others feel happier, more hopeful and more empowered. Engaged employees develop stronger work relationships, and healthy work relationships increase engagement, making employee engagement a circular process.

10. Better organizational culture 

In a recent survey by Achievers involving 2,000 working adults, 42% of those feeling disengaged pointed to a lack of company culture.

On top of this, Haillo found that 47% of people actively looking for a new job pinpoint poor company culture as the main reason for wanting to leave.

Therefore, a robust and positive work culture not only drives success but also fosters a sense of unity and purpose. Engaged employees contribute significantly to this culture, ensuring an environment that's both productive and harmonious.

11. Enhanced customer satisfaction

Employee engagement doesn't just benefit the internal atmosphere of a company; it has a significant impact on customer satisfaction too. Engaged employees (in customer-facing roles) are more invested in their work.

This leads to

  • Higher quality service
  • Better understanding of customer needs, and
  • A desire to solve problems.

This enhanced service quality resonates directly with customers, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty.

A study by Gallup shows that businesses with highly engaged workforces see a 10% increase in customer ratings and a 20% rise in sales. Engaged employees always go the extra mile, not in just their tasks, but in the way they interact with their customers.

12. Improved mental health and well-being

Employee engagement is deeply intertwined with mental health and overall well-being. Engaged employees tend to have a lower risk of burnout, as they find more satisfaction and meaning in their work. This satisfaction leads to better mental health, reducing stress and anxiety often associated with disengagement.

A supportive work environment that prioritizes engagement helps in recognizing and addressing mental health concerns early. Such organizations provide resources and support for mental health, like access to counseling services, mental health days, and stress-reduction programs.

According to the American Psychological Association, employees who feel valued are more likely to report better physical and mental health, as well as higher levels of engagement, satisfaction, and motivation.

Therefore, valuing your employees, both in terms of recognition and offering a supportive work environment can significantly enhance and improve their overall engagement levels.

Improve Employee Engagement in 5 Simple Steps

Improving employee engagement is a multi-faceted process and requires a thoughtful approach. Here's how to improve your employees' engagement in 5 steps.

5 Steps to Improving Employee Engagement

Step 1: Assess the comfort and efficiency of your workplace

A comfortable and efficient workspace can positively impact your employees' satisfaction and productivity. Ensure employees have the right tools to carry out their tasks. Keep the workspace clean, and have proper lighting conditions and ventilation.

This step can lead to a smooth workflow, allowing your employees to focus on their responsibilities.

Step 2: Foster clear and transparent communication

Communication is key in any organization. When managers communicate clearly and transparently, it gives employees a sense of feeling informed and involved. Regular team meetings, check-ins, one-on-ones, and open-door policies are some of the methods. Encourage managers to communicate company news and any changes and developments in strategy and policies. This helps employees put their trust in the organizations and can bar disengagement levels from rising.

Step 3: Recognize and appreciate your employees

Recognition given, whether big or small, can boost employee morale by a significant margin. Implement an employee recognition program to regularly acknowledge and reward their hard work and achievements. A simple 'thank you' note or a recognition award can go a long way to say that you care. Fostering peer recognition can lead to a positive and happy work atmosphere.

For example, with ThriveSparrow, you can create a recognition program the way you want. Right from customizable Kudos cards ( virtual thank-you cards) to reward redemptions, peer-to-peer recognition becomes personalized and meaningful.

An overview of ThriveSparrow's Kudos Module
ThriveSparrow's Kudos Module

Step 4: Facilitate team-building activities

Promote a culture where employees can participate in activities apart from work. Informal gatherings, virtual coffee breaks, and interest groups are great ways to build a community-like atmosphere. This helps employees relax and connect with peers on a more personal level.

When employees form meaningful relationships at work their engagement levels tend to rise naturally.

Step 5: Prioritize employee development and growth

Investing in an employee's professional development can help them feel valued as a member of the organization. Offering training and development opportunities along with mentorship programs can enhance your employees' skills and engagement. They'll tend to work harder and will invest more effort into their work.

Automate Your Employee Engagement Efforts

Employee engagement is an important factor in an organization's success, not just a trendy term. Organizations can gain a wide range of advantages by investing in employee engagement strategies, including

  1. Increased productivity
  2. Better retention rates
  3. Increased employee satisfaction
  4. Greater innovation
  5. Stronger alignment
  6. Higher customer satisfaction, and
  7. Improved financial performance

Dive deeper into the benefits of employee engagement that we've discussed throughout the blog with our comprehensive platform. Elevate your organization's culture with ThriveSparrow.

  • A birds-eye view on engagement levels: Gain a panoramic view into department-wise engagement patterns via interactive heatmaps.
  • Celebrate achievements: Recognize and appreciate top-performers, pivotal achievements, and significant milestones with well-deserved Kudos.
  • Shower rewards: Reward your employees' dedication with redeemable rewards from their favorite stores.

Build a thriving ecosystem with truly engaged employees. Choose a future where every employee is engaged, recognized, and aligned with your vision.

Sign up for free, and embrace that future today!