Employee Engagement: Why Does it Matter?

Employee Engagement: Why Does it Matter?

Amy Bajjaly_Vice President Human ResourcesBy Amy Bajjaly, VP, Organizational Engagement and Development

For years organizations have spent time and money conducting employee satisfaction surveys. The problem with this methodology is that happy, satisfied employees are not necessarily high performing, engaged employees – ones who will positively impact the quality of services and make the organization more successful, especially during times of rapid change.

Engagement includes satisfaction but goes further. It is an emotional connection that team members have to the organization’s mission that inspires them to apply discretionary effort (i.e. go the extra mile) to help the company achieve its goals. Engaged team members work with passion, at a consistently high level and drive innovation to move the organization forward.

According to Gallup, only about 30% of American workers in 2012 were engaged in their job, and 87% of workers worldwide are emotionally disconnected from their workplace. The No. 1 reason why people leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated.

A great work environment is one where leaders meet their team member’s functional, emotional and relational needs, and where leadership is committed to listening to and involving all employees in the organization’s success. The goal is to create an engaged workplace where people are more likely to stay and contribute at a higher level by being more involved, enthusiastic and committed to their work.

As stated by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, “Any company trying to compete must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee.” This is especially true of companies whose services and values are delivered through individual behaviors of employees.  Organizations with engaged team members simply perform better – by a whopping 200% – compared to other companies. These companies experience better financial results, increased productivity, higher customer ratings, fewer safety incidents, less absenteeism, lower turnover, and higher quality.