The Importance of Employee Engagement
Written by Alison Hanks
Employee engagement is a significant contributor to the success of a business in numerous ways: daily performance, annual accomplishments, customer service, and financial success. But, what exactly is employee engagement and how do we go about defining it? According to a recent study conducted by Glint, employee engagement is most commonly identified as “an employee’s emotional commitment to the organization and willingness to give his or her best at work” (Glint, 2018).
As important as employee engagement may be, it’s an area many companies overlook and under-prioritize. What are the key contributing factors to employee engagement? According to Glint’s research, the 717 HR.com members surveyed reported that employee engagement was strongly linked to relationships, trust, and culture (Glint, 2018). The study goes on to identify two of the top contributors as leadership and company culture.
Research findings specifically support the importance of the relationship that is formed, and maintained, between employees and their supervisors. According to Glint, “Only two fifths [of respondents] say their senior leaders prioritize engagement and just 28% said their managers are highly skilled at fostering engaged individuals and teams. This suggests that many of the engagement problems organizations face can be boiled down to a lack of leader skills and prioritization” (Glint, 2018). Findings also concluded that senior management’s contribution to employee engagement is just as significant as that of direct supervisors.
When it comes to company culture, we are forced to embrace the reality of today’s employee-driven market. Capable employees have the luxury of pursuing new, and more advanced, career options at any time. This exemplifies the pressure employers now face to incorporate strategies to maintain today’s top contributors, talent, and future power cards. “Organizational culture has become a primary factor in candidates’ choice of employer, and capable employees no longer feel obligated to tolerate a toxic culture” (Glint, 2018).
When asked to describe the level of employee engagement at IMPACT, Joe Pomaranski, IMPACT’s Vice President, said, “Over the last 12 months, we have significantly raised our awareness of the importance of employee engagement. We continuously strive to create an atmosphere where employees can Grow Fast and achieve their personal and professional goals.” Pomaranski believes that employee engagement is developed through employees working around a common goal, maintaining recognition of employees’ contributions toward the betterment of the company, and supporting employees’ personal and professional advancement.
Another strategy IMPACT uses to enhance employee engagement stems from one of our company Core Values – Be Fun! As a team, IMPACT celebrates achievements, new opportunities, employee accomplishments, and successes, both large and small, as often as possible!
IMPACT surveys employees quarterly to maintain awareness of employee engagement. Surveys come in the form of large, outside surveys (for example, Crain’s Detroit), in-house surveys following corporate events and meetings, and one additional survey per year that provides a deeper opportunity for feedback.
According to Glint’s findings, if an employer surveys employees to gauge their engagement and does not respond to the feedback, the effect is worse that if the survey had never been completed, at all (Glint, 2018). IMPACT understands this reality and thoroughly assesses feedback and responds with strategies that best meet employee desires and fit within the company’s budget. Recently, IMPACT responded to employee feedback by reassessing the compensation plan and adding the employee benefit of a gym membership for all internal employees.
The importance of employee engagement is undeniable. Not only does it empower employees by encouraging them to be more in tune with company goals, it directly correlates with overall company success.