Why is Employee Engagement So Important? Insights from Gallup Research

April 6, 2015

DeathtoStock_Medium10Employee engagement is key to company performance, leading to positive effects such as higher productivity, improved work quality, and decreased job turnover. But even though research shows that employee engagement is at its highest since 2000, only about 30 percent of U.S. employees report feeling engaged in their jobs.


According to the Gallup research team, “A job has the potential to be at the heart of a great life, but only if its holder is engaged at work.”


The problem:


Employees today are looking for more than just a 9-to-5 job. They want to be involved in their work, enthusiastic about the organization they work for, and committed to their fellow workers.


Employee engagement is at its highest since 2000, yet only 31.5 percent of U.S. workers say they are engaged in their jobs.


Unfortunately, engagement can be a tricky thing measure, making it easy to overlook employees’ opinions, behaviors, and concerns. It is, however, an important piece of the performance puzzle, as disengaged employees are more likely to leave their jobs, or only do the bare minimum to get by.


51 percent of employees reported that they were not engaged in their jobs in 2014.


With more than half of workers feeling unengaged, it’s clear that more investment in the overall well being of employees is needed. A negative employee mindset may drag down productivity, creating damaging effects on an organization as a whole.


The solution:


Employee engagement needs to go beyond a cool-looking foosball table in the break room, or shiny incentives like flexible work hours.


Give employees a voice. It’s vital that employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions about their workplace. When employees aren’t kept up to date regarding key projects, company strategies, or future plans, they often feel out of the loop.


By explaining employees’ role in important decisions, and by making communication a priority, employees will feel comfortable supporting — and maybe even advocating for — an organization’s goals.


Young workers are the least engaged, with only 28.9 percent of millennials reporting that they feel engaged in their work.


Millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, yet they are the least engaged generation. Communication is of particular importance to this group. It’s no surprise that communication platforms, such as Slack and others have taken off recently.


Communication also builds relationships between all levels of staff, creating an environment of effective collaboration. Ultimately, empowered employees who feel satisfied in their jobs, dedicated to their work, and confident in their managers, are more likely to be committed to their organization.

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