Engagement really matters

It's been proven time and again that employees who are engaged significantly outperform work groups that are not engaged. According to Dale Carnegie and MSW, engaged employees outperform their disengaged counterparts by up to 202%. In fact, low employee engagement costs the U.S. economy alone an estimated $370 billion a year.

A national survey of 1500 employers found that on average:

  • 29% of their workforce is engaged
  • 45% are not engaged
  • 26% are actively disengaged

Employee engagement surveys have become a standard practice in business - with improving employee engagement as the ultimate goal. But according to Denise McLain and Jason Krieger of Gallup Business Journal too much attention is paid to measurement and not enough attention is paid to strategies that drive engagement.

Drive employee engagement

In Fast Company Dr. Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist of workplace management and well-being says managers must get four things right if they want to drive engagement.

  1. Get people in the right job: Find or create roles that fully leverage the individual talents and strengths of your employees.

  2. Set clear expectations: Communicate with your employees the 'what' and the 'why' of their job. Set clear goals collaboratively with your team and show how those goals contribute to the success of the entire business.

  3. Give people what they need to do their job: Give your people the equipment, the training and the autonomy to do good work.

  4. Be extremely generous with praise and recognition: When employees feel their contributions and efforts are overlooked, or taken for granted they disengage. Recognizing and praising employee contributions and achievements is critical for engagement. Harter advises managers to lean towards over-appreciating people, and to focus on praising good outcomes. 

Perks aren't substitutes for engagement drivers

These four fundamentals to creating engagement are purposeful authentic practices of great managers. Engagement is not created by adding ping pong tables, nap rooms, or casual dress codes — while these might be fun additions to your culture or nice perks these superficial things do not drive engagement. So while perks and company events like a weekly happy hour are good ways to build a fun social aspect into your culture. Engagement comes down to strategies that demonstrate respect and value for individual employees and their contributions to your business.

RedCritter Connecter, enables organizations to grow and strengthen employee engagement, by showcasing and surfacing meaningful employee goals, accomplishments and skills.