The Strengths Institute provides countless businesses and organisations with effective strengths-based support to improve engagement amongst employees, teams, managers and executives. Our Strengths-based programs, workshops and coaching processes, provide world-class results based on a wealth of employee wellness research and highly experienced coaches.
The “employee engagement buzz”
- Just another fad or really a “baseline booster”?
What is employee engagement? Let’s start with what it’s not…
Employee engagement doesn’t mean employee happiness. Someone might be happy at work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are working hard and productively on behalf of the organization. While company game rooms, free massages and Friday keg parties are fun – and may be beneficial for various reasons – having happy employees differs significantly from having engaged employees.
Employee engagement doesn’t mean employee satisfaction. Many companies have “employee satisfaction” surveys and executives talk about “employee satisfaction”, but the bar is set too low. A satisfied employee might show up for her daily 9-to-5 without complaint. But that same “satisfied” employee might not go the extra mile by herself, and she’ll probably take the headhunter’s call luring her away with a 10% bump in pay. Satisfied isn’t enough.
Definition: Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.
This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organization’s goals.
When employees care — when they are engaged — they use discretionary effort.
This means the engaged computer programmer works overtime when needed, without being asked. This means the engaged retail clerk picks up the trash on the store floor, even if the boss isn’t watching. This means the TSA agent will pull a suspicious bag to be searched, even if it’s the last bag on their shift.
Engaged employees lead to better business outcomes.
Engaged Employees lead to…
- higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to…
- higher customer satisfaction, which leads to….
- increased sales (repeat business and referrals), which leads to…
- higher levels of profit, which leads to…
- higher growth and stability.
Why employee engagement matters – the statistical facts:
• $11 Billion is lost annually in the USA alone due to high employee turnover.
• Companies with engaged employees outperform those without with 202%.
• Gallup Global research (2012) shows that in the United States:
- 29% of the workforce are engaged (takes personal ownership of their job and company)
- 54% are disengaged (works for a pay cheque and nothing more) and
- 18% are actively disengaged (will bad-mouth their company, influence colleagues negatively and even cause the company intentional harm).
In South Africa the figures are even more alarming:
• 9% of the workforce are engaged
• 46% are disengaged, and
• 45% are actively disengaged.
This means that 91% of South Africa’s workforce actually cares little to none about the company they work for.
Three key drivers of employee engagement:
1. Relationship with direct manager:
80% of employees dissatisfied with their direct manager were disengaged.
2. Belief in senior leadership:
70% of employees who lack confidence in the abilities of senior management are not fully engaged.
3. Pride in the company:
54% of employees who were proud of their company’s contribution to society are engaged.
Engaged employees exhibit 4 crucial traits. Engaged employees are:
Do not “thumb-suck” your engagement figures!
Most managers will not be able to give an accurate account of their employee engagement, simply because the behavior of employees towards and in the presence of a manager is completely altered by their mere presence.
Getting the fact wrong on employee engagement can be more detrimental when you act on it, as not acting on anything at all…
Employee engagement can be measured, but how is it effectively addressed?
Gallup research in employee engagement over the last 3 decades revealed that one factor has a more immediate and lasting impact on lifting and improving employee engagement than any other. This factor is taking a strengths-based approach towards employee talent and abilities.
Helping employees accurately identify, understand and manage their unique talents into strengths and giving them opportunities that align with their strengths, is the single most effective factor in changing employee engagement for the better.
Strengths Institute is the African leader when it comes to a strengths based approach towards employee engagement in companies of any size or industry. Contact us today and become part of our network of successful clients that have experienced growth in employee engagement, wellness and productivity though the Strengths-based movement in South Africa and from around the world.