For many employees, going to work is a dreaded chore. In fact, in the United States, approximately 70% of workers dislike their current job. That means that when they clock in in the morning and pull their chairs up to their desks, being motivated and efficient are often the last things on their minds. Unfortunately, having a workforce that would rather stare into space and kill time until closing is not exactly conducive to better business. When workers become emotionally distanced from their work, it can lead to reduced productivity, increased employee turnover, and negatively impact every other aspect of the workplace. However, if there was increased employee appreciation, those same employees can be re-engaged, then the benefits towards the business are almost endless. Here are a few ways that your business stands to benefit from connecting your disengaged employees.
Employee turnover is a major concern for many companies. When employees leave, their positions need to be filled quickly, before their absence begins to affect business. That means that managers have to take their minds away from their other duties and begin the often-times lengthy hiring process. Additionally, recruitment costs (such as advertising the new position or hiring temporary help) can build quickly, and may end up harming the company financially. At the same time, productivity will often dip while the position is vacant. Lastly, the costs (both monetary and opportunity-related) of training a new employee need to be considered. However, if employees are engaged, their satisfaction level naturally increases, as does their company loyalty. In short, engaged employees are less likely to leave, which benefits everyone. They are also much more likely to promote the company brand, and to consider its interests.
An unhappy employee may still come in to work every day and do what is required of them. However, they’ll never go above and beyond their specified duties to do something truly awe-inspiring. That is unfortunate, because for a business to really prosper, it needs all of its team members to be dynamic, passionate, and innovative. Highly engaged employees don’t see themselves as being separate from the company, but rather identify with it as an extension of themselves. Thus, they do everything in their power to generate new ideas and use that drive to innovate to create a better business.
Employees have a tendency to affect those around them. When the employee is unhappy and disinterested, those who work with or around them often begin to develop these traits as well. Of course, on the other hand, employees who are engaged and motivated can often positively influence their peers. They bring energy and optimism to new projects, and their attitudes cause others to do the same. This leads to positive organizational growth throughout the company. At the same time, companies with high numbers of engaged employees often draw like-minded new recruits to fill vacancies.
What happens in the office doesn’t necessarily stay in the office. In fact, with information becoming more accessible every day, the once private inner workings of many companies and businesses are often gaining public attention. As such, unhappy employees are increasingly venting the frustration they feel regarding their workplaces using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. As these tweets and posts make their rounds, a company’s reputation may begin to suffer. At the same time, unhappy employees might actually intentionally compromise company computer security. However, engaged employees will act as free public relations experts, promoting their business and finding new clients even when they’re not actively being paid to do so.
Of course, all of these other points all come back to the major reason why employee engagement is important: money. After all, businesses exist to generate profit, and without doing so, they simply cannot survive. Statistics show that companies with highly engaged employees consistently see increases in operating income, net growth, and earnings per share. When it comes to making money, engaged employees really are the key.
So, before you go cutting back on vacation days or getting rid of casual Friday, stop and take a moment to ask yourself just how engaged your team members are. If you think that you could do more to get them interested, involved, and excited, then go for it. Remember, when it comes to employee engagement, it’s not just about keeping one person happy, it’s about keeping the company happy (and profitable).
– Annalee is a freelance writer and expert in business and employee recognition.
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