Companies that believe employee engagement is just a buzzword may want to think again. Research conducted by polling firm Gallup suggests that employee engagement has a major impact on numerous measures of organizational success, including productivity, quality of output, customer ratings and profitability.
Unfortunately, engagement seems to be rare in contemporary workplaces. Gallup found that only 13 percent of employees are engaged with their work, while 63 percent are "not engaged" and 24 percent are "actively disengaged." The firm conducts routine meta-analyses using a performance-based assessment to measure employee engagement, which is then correlated with other data points that reflect the performance of the company as a whole.
Gallup's Susan Sorenson described the results of the most recent study in an article for the firm's Business Journal. She explained that companies need to focus on concrete measures of employees' performance, rather than anecdotal reviews of their state of mind, and noted that "indulging employees is no substitute for engaging them."
"A free lunch, a siesta in the nap room, or a massage at work would probably make anybody happier," Sorenson explains. "But happy doesn't necessarily equal productive, or even loyal."
It can be difficult to implement meaningful incentives that attract talented professionals and get them to deliver their best performance. Gallup recommends routinely surveying staff members using proven metrics and creating custom employee development plans that specifically aimed at achieving desired performance outcomes.
However, businesses cannot only take a reactive approach. To build a team of engaged employees who are willing to go the extra mile, companies need to be proactive, starting in the hiring process. Selecting candidates whose interests and goals align with the organization's is essential to the creation of an engaged workforce.
When companies are looking to expand their team, they should work with an experienced staffing agency to find temporary or full-time workers who will provide the best fit for the company's needs.