“To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.” - Doug Conant
In other words, your success as an organization starts from the inside; and as the “inside” usually includes your employees, so, your success starts with them. When the organization appreciates its employees, respects them, and cares about them, the employees will feel the same way about the organization.
This is what is known as “Employee Engagement”.
Ever since the introduction of the term for the first time by William A. Kahn in 1990, in his article “Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work”, there hasn’t been a specific definition of Employee Engagement.
Employee Engagement is defined by David Mcleod in the “Mcleod Report” as: “When the business values the employee and the employee values the business”.
Other definitions mentioned in “The State of Employee Engagement in 2018” Report,
according to a survey they conducted, include:
“An employee’s willingness to give his or her best at work.”
“An employee’s emotional commitment to the organisation and its objectives.”
“An employee’s level of satisfaction with his or her work condition.”
Regardless of whether there is a specific definition of Employee Engagement or not, it is crucial to acknowledge that it is one of the most important terms in the management world today, and this is mainly due to the benefits it brings to the organisation, as proven by many studies. These benefits include:
Engaged employees are satisfied employees. They are more invested in the success of the organisation and more loyal to it.
They are more positive and enthusiastic employees that will probably have a lot of good things to say about your organisation, bragging to their friends and families about how they enjoy getting up to go to work everyday, and feeling appreciated by their employers.
Moreover, engaged employees are happy, cheerful, and energized employees who love what they do, appreciate their organisation, and strive to give back to it.
Increased Productivity and Profitability
Engaged employees are more productive, they are more willing to work harder as they are more loyal to the organisation, and believe that the work they are doing is important. They are more connected to the organisation, as well as to their co-workers, leaders, and customers; thus, being able to communicate better with them. Additionally, engaged employees often engage each other in discussions that might result in new ideas that increase both: productivity and profitability.
Moreover, engaged employees are more creative, always thinking of new and creative ways to do their tasks and solve problems. Retention And Recruitment
Engaged employees rarely quit. They are satisfied with their their work, loyal to the organisation, feel appreciated for what they do, and are invested in the organisation’s success. Why would they quit?
Fostering employee engagement in your organisation is key to reducing employee turnover and improving employee retention rates.
On the other hand, it is important to take a few points into consideration when applying Employee Engagement in your organisation; such as;
Even though Employee Engagement can improve retention and decrease turnover, it will not completely prohibit turnover. Employees may still quit.
Engaged employees can get too attached to their organization, forming strong emotional ties, which might actually have a negative effect; such as: clouding their performance and perception, thus, resulting in employees acting based on emotions rather than facts.
Not all employees can be engaged in the same way; what may work for one employee won't necessary work for another.
In the end, whether you agree or disagree with the concept of employee engagement and applying it in your organization, you need to be certain of one thing: your employees are your competitive advantage; appreciate them, respect them, and invest in them, and they will be the key to the success of your organization, the satisfaction of your customers, and the increase of your organisation’s productivity and profitability.
Written by Yasmine Mokhtar