This is a guest post by Kiara Miller, Content Marketing Specialist at Speaking Nerd.
Over the last few years, the corporate world has undergone some massive paradigm shifts. One of the key highlights of these transitions has been the great inclination towards employee engagement. Businesses are caring for employee engagement more than ever before and are also happy to allocate exorbitant amounts of resources to drive high engagement.
Clearly, businesses are now recognizing the vital benefits of high employee engagement and are acknowledging the high ROI of employee engagement strategies. In fact, businesses are now competing with each other on a new battlefield. To elucidate, businesses are now looking to outdo each other in terms of creative and outside-the-box approaches to engaging their employees. But what are the greatest benefits of employee engagement they are looking to capitalize on?
In this blog, we delve deep into the unexplored benefits of high employee engagement. This blog emphasizes how businesses can change their fortunes for the better by investing in employee engagement. So, let us get started without further ado.
Ways in which high engagement adds to business success
1. Amplification in profitability
Undoubtedly, the ultimate objective of businesses is to augment profits and achieve great financial results. Profitability is the greatest motivator for businesses and businesses doom when they are no longer profitable. The question is, what makes businesses amply profitable?
Well, the answer lies in the culmination of several critical success factors across different industries or departments. An identical success factor across all kinds of businesses is that of employee engagement. To explain, businesses drive high profitability when their human capital offers a high return on investment. A simple and direct measure of that return is employee engagement.
When employees are highly engaged, they view their own success in alignment with the growth of the organization. They feel that the success of the organization has a direct correlation with their individual growth. Having said that, they are more than willing to raise the bar of performance in an incremental manner. Your highly engaged employees would not mind going the extra mile for the organization and this commitment drives organizations to great results.
In fact, highly engaged teams will also look to surpass their previous accomplishments. When teams scale new heights, organizations enjoy greater success in terms of revenue and profitability. High employee engagement steers incredible productivity that further translates into amplification in company profits. To substantiate, as per Forbes, highly engaged organizations are 21 percent more profitable than their counterparts. Did you know that already?
So, as you can see, your employees’ engagement levels have a direct correlation with the financial metrics of your organization’s success. Do you still want to believe that you can ignore the need for actionable employee engagement strategies?
In fact, given the enormous rise in competitiveness in the business world, engagement could exactly be the competitive advantage you are looking for. The key is to discover the best employee engagement strategies that will work efficiently for your business. Once you get that right as a business leader, greater success and profits will surely follow.
2. Optimized learning outcomes
Organizations invest exorbitant proportions of their operating expenses in employee training and development. In fact, as per Statista, companies spend around USD 1300 per employee on training and development each year. But do all companies get the expected results out of their learning and development initiatives despite the high costs?
Well, in the real world, there is a large inconsistency in the results that companies get from their training programs. For most employees, training programs are a mere obligation or a good break from their usual workday. This is for the simple reason that not all employees are indulged in worthwhile learning as they do not feel engaged in their work in general.
On the contrary, when employees carry a strong sense of engagement, they would want to learn better. To explain, highly engaged employees have a knack for upskilling and reskilling so that they can add greater value to their careers as well as the organization. In fact, your most engaged employees will be those who manifest great keenness in learning. They will exhibit great interest in diversifying their skills and acquiring greater knowledge.
So, the gist of the matter is that high workplace engagement will lead to greater learning outcomes. Your training and development programs will be far more successful when your employees are engaged. They will show greater receptiveness to learning opportunities in the workplace and will learn with great diligence. Otherwise, without their engagement, training programs will only add to the costs for the company and not results. Makes complete sense, isn’t it?
Having said that, to get the expected value out of your employee training and development initiatives, engagement will always be a key criterion. The greater the engagement the higher will be the ROI of training expenses.
3. Greater accountability in the workplace
Accountability is a basic work ethic that employers expect their employees to exhibit in the workplace. You want your people to value the responsibilities they have been assigned and own up to their actions. In fact, a workplace without any accountability at different levels is quite vulnerable to consistent failure.
This is where engagement has an immensely significant role to play. Disengaged employees are going to be the least accountable or may rather manifest no accountability at all. They would rather look to avoid any additional responsibilities and rather than owning up to their actions, they will rather pass the buck to others. You can well imagine the kind of ramifications it can have for any organization.
However, the scenario will be completely different in a workplace where employees are highly engaged. Engaged employees have a great sense of belonging and they are driven by accountable behaviors. They have their goals and objectives in perfect alignment with the organizational goals. Therefore, they will always own up to their actions because their intent would always be positive. They will feel empowered when they are given additional responsibilities and the accountability will be high too.
Henceforth, engagement is such a key thing when it comes to ensuring the highest accountability at all levels. If you care about cultivating high engagement in your workforce, you would not have to worry about accountability. Accountability will follow by default and will make the work environment far more positive.
4. Higher innovation in the workplace
As a business leader, you very well understand the value of creativity and innovation. In contemporary times, creativity has become a quintessential skill. In fact, you surely expect great innovation from your employees as innovation is a part of a company’s core competencies. Now, here is a simple question for you to answer.
Can you really expect your employees to be amazingly creative and contribute innovative ideas if they are not engaged enough? Can your disengaged employees produce stellar innovations that put your business right ahead of your competitors? The fact of the matter is, the best innovation comes from highly engaged employees. Engaged employees are mentally and emotionally attached to their organizations and want to bring new ideas to the floor each day. For that, they unleash the innovation and creativity in them with great zest as they are committed to driving positive changes in the best interest of their organization.
The bottom line is that to inspire the best creativity and innovation in your talented workforce, you first need to find ways to sustain their engagement. The more engaged your employees are, the greater will be their urge to think outside the box and find unconventional solutions to conventional problems.
It is an undeniable fact that creative innovation holds the key to business success. Businesses that can think outside the box will outdo their competitors to win the future. But then businesses are only going to be as creative and innovative as their people. Speaking of creativity and innovation coming from your workforce, engagement is going to be the foundation for it. For laying that foundation effectively, transformational leadership can be your best bet.
5. Reduced absenteeism
High absenteeism rates have always been an issue for businesses. Besides, there is a cost associated with high absenteeism that businesses have to endure almost every year. To substantiate, the average loss of high absenteeism per year is around USD 2500 per employee. So, if you lead an organization with 200-300 people, you can well imagine how hefty these costs can get.
Now that you know how massive these losses can be, it will be sensible to ask if there is a way you can avoid these costs. Well, driving high employee engagement is certainly going to be a great way to do that. To elucidate, highly engaged employees have a greater sense of responsibility towards their work and they would not disrupt that with unnecessary leaves. In fact, when there is high engagement among employees, they love to be a part of the workplace every day to contribute in a positive manner.
To further substantiate, the correlation between high engagement and lower absenteeism can be proved statistically. As per Applauze, high employee engagement can lead to a 41 percent decrease in absenteeism. This is something most business leaders would not know for sure, did you? This is such an incredible yet little-known business benefit of promoting greater engagement in the workplace.
The equation is quite simple to comprehend. Higher engagement will mean lesser absenteeism and hence, the absenteeism losses of your business can be brought down significantly. This can surely be counted as one of the most paramount benefits of employee engagement strategies.
6. Greater scope for delegation
A renowned American businessman, Eli Broad once said, “the inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels.” Well, this assertion for him very well explains the significance of delegation of authority and responsibilities in business. For the simple reason that there is so much to do at managerial levels that you cannot do all of that with identical productivity. At some point, you have to delegate power and responsibility to your subordinates and the greatest of leaders do that quite excellently.
However, can you delegate imperative responsibilities to your subordinates if they are not invested enough in their work? Would you risk passing the baton of power to someone who is not diligent and committed enough? For sure, you would not because delegation has to be cautious and meticulous for it to be in the best interest of the organization. You delegate authority to those who manifest a great sense of responsibility and alignment with the organization.
In other words, you delegate charge to your most engaged employees because you know that they will not disappoint you. Therefore, it is absolutely correct to say that high levels of engagement in the workplace widen the scope of effective delegation. Your most engaged employees are the perfect candidates for taking leadership roles. It’s such a great thing that delegation will also help you in identifying your future leaders. In fact, it’s fabulous how ultimately everything is correlated to employee engagement.
7. Enhanced collaboration
Did you know that as per SalesForce, ineffective collaboration is considered one of the key reasons for project failure? In fact, 86 percent of corporate executives cite lack of collaboration as the primary cause of project failure. While there could be various reasons contributing to below-par collaboration between project teams, low engagement is surely one of them.
When employees aren’t engaged enough, they don’t feel like putting effort into building strong working relationships with their colleagues. Disengaged employees are more often only concerned with their individual interests. For them, what is in the best interest of their team or their organization in the larger sense is largely irrelevant. You surely do not want such people in your organization, do you?
On the contrary, when employees are intensely engaged in the workplace, they do invest a lot in working relationships. For them, collaboration is a key criterion of success and they want to get better at it each day to produce exceptional results for their teams and the organization. Having said that, high engagement and incredible collaboration go hand in hand. Especially in a remote work environment, driving high engagement is one of the key strategies to optimize remote collaboration.
When you succeed in creating highly engaged teams, the collaboration will improve by default leading to great outcomes for the business. The project failure rate will witness a significant drop and because of optimized collaboration, the financial performance will drastically improve.
To encapsulate, the investment in employee engagement pays off in several ways. In fact, by fostering high engagement and motivation among your employees, as a leader, you can excel in streamlining various verticals of business success. From enhanced collaboration to improved financial performance, employee engagement has some outstanding and hard to neglect benefits. The organizations that reap the benefits of employee engagement the best will emerge as leaders in the coming years. Every business wants to reach the pinnacle of success and engagement is the ladder to it.