Engaged employees are one of your most significant organizational assets. Yet, owners often measure company growth against sales, profitability and customer satisfaction benchmarks. These are all important metrics for a business owner to pay attention to, but boosting employee morale can have a surprising impact on your company’s overall success.
In fact, Gallup suggests that engaged employees work harder, are more productive and are vital to keeping your business strong and healthy over the long term.
But be warned, organizations that overlook employee engagement will likely struggle to meet goals for productivity, growth and employee retention. And while Canada and the U.S. lead the way in employee engagement globally, there are still plenty of opportunities to keep improving — especially for employees that still feel disconnected from their company’s vision, mission or success.
So, recognizing that employee engagement can dramatically influence your company’s productivity and profitability is key to helping your business thrive.
In this blog post, we’ll explore:
- What employee engagement looks like in the workplace
- How to keep your employees engaged
- What to do about unproductive employees
- How to keep employees engaged while working from home
Keep reading to learn more and how you can take actionable steps to boost engagement in your workplace.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement describes the connection between employees and their jobs, along with how that relationship plays out in their work. When gauging employee engagement in your workplace, consider asking the following questions:
- Do your employees feel valued?
- Are they feeling as if their contributions matter?
- Do they like their job?
The more your employees can answer “yes” to these questions, the more engaged they’re likely to be at work. That engagement is directly connected to how your business performs.
What happens when employees are engaged?
When employees are deeply engaged in their work, they tend to:
- Work harder
- Be more productive
- Invest more in successful outcomes
Why? Because they feel their work is meaningful and are committed to helping their employer succeed. These feelings of connection can drive significant business results, as each engaged employee gives their best to their role.
What are the signs of engaged employees?
Because engaged employees are happier in their jobs, they’re more likely to:
- Accept feedback
- Involve themselves in efficient decision making
- Show responsibility for getting things done
In general, they’re often willing to go the extra mile and display a more positive attitude.
What is the difference between engaged and disengaged employees?
An engaged employee can see how their efforts contribute to your company’s success and how they connect to positive outcomes. This causes them to feel valued and understood, since their work feels meaningful to the overall mission and vision of the business.
Disengaged employees, however, lack these connective bonds.
They may struggle to understand why their work matters. And, while they may show up physically to work each day, they likely don’t care much about how well they do or if they complete work promptly. When employees feel disconnected from their company or team at work, they often don’t perform at the same levels as their engaged counterparts.
How can you keep your employees engaged?
As mentioned earlier, creating a workplace culture where employees feel heard (especially when they have concerns) can greatly increase their engagement. So, how can you ensure you keep your employees engaged? Here are some key ways you can boost morale:
- Offer clear expectations for your employees regarding performance
- Provide all the necessary tools and training needed for your employees to succeed
- Improve internal communications to keep employees connected to the company’s vision
- Create opportunities for employees to interact and bond with other team members
- Implement regular check-ins to support employees in their work
- Encourage discussion and welcome new ideas from employees
- Invest in learning and development programs to support knowledge sharing
- Ask your employees what they need to succeed and listen to their responses
- Coach your team members, offer regular feedback and provide recognition
- Support wellness initiatives and help employees access support programs
How much more productive are engaged employees?
Want to supercharge your company's growth and help keep a competitive edge in tough markets? Don’t overlook the benefits of boosting employee engagement in your organization. Engaged employees tend to show up to work more often and drive better results across most metrics. In fact, the Cision report on high Candian employee engagement (mentioned earlier in this post) states the following:
Gallup research has consistently found that employee engagement is a significant driver of organizational success.
"Businesses and organizations with high employee engagement achieve higher productivity, better customer relationships, lower turnover and higher profitability.”
And since Canada ranks as one of the global leaders in employee engagement, your best bet is to follow suit for optimal profit gains within your company.
What happens when employees are not engaged?
When your employees become disengaged, you may notice the following issues when trying to organize work projects or processes:
- Decreased performance
- Communication gaps
Not only will an unhappy employee feel uninvolved or undervalued, but they may also drain the energy on others around them. This could eventually bring down the team morale, frustrate other colleagues or sabotage projects — either consciously or subconsciously.
How to handle unproductive employees
Every business owner has had to address productivity issues within their company at some point. Experienced leaders know that decreased productivity can have many causes. But getting to the bottom of why an employee is falling behind can help you find the best solution. An unproductive employee may feel as if they:
- Haven't had enough training
- Struggle to balance a heavy workload
- Feel disengaged from the team
- Lack understanding on how their contributions matter to the company's success
- Are unhappy with their job duties or not care to improve
Each of these circumstances requires a very different approach. But remember, replacing an employee can be costly and won’t solve the problem if there are organizational issues within your company.
Before deciding how to handle a performance issue, try to assess what could be affecting the situation.
Be willing to listen to what your employee says about how their work is going. Then, work with your employee to outline expectations, fill gaps in knowledge and offer the support needed to perform their best.
How to keep employees engaged while working from home
Remote teams have the advantage of skipping morning commutes and enjoying the flexibility of balancing work and home life. However, maintaining motivation while working from a home office isn’t always easy.
Employees who work from home need ways to stay connected to other team members.
It’s also important for them to enjoy the same benefits and support offered to those working in the office. As an employer, you can help keep your teams connected by ensuring they have equitable access to the technology they need. This will ensure they can complete their work efficiently and join meetings remotely.Always ensure nobody is left out of the loop simply because they weren’t in the office for a particular discussion.
Editor’s note: Keep remote workers connected with Microsoft 365 from GoDaddy. You get the Teams messaging app, Microsoft Office and 24/7 support from GoDaddy’s award-winning customer care guides.
A quick note on virtual meetings
Another great way to keep your team functioning well is to address the issue of virtual meetings. Few people enjoy having back-to-back meetings on camera all day and too many might burn out your best people. Talk to your team and discuss how virtual meetings work (or don't work) for them. You may consider limiting how many meetings employees are expected to book each day or select one day per week where no internal meetings are scheduled.
Understanding the close link between employee engagement and your company’s growth is key to making significant organizational changes. With this perspective, your efforts to connect with employees and boost their satisfaction at work suddenly become a priority for everyone on the leadership team. The results? A happier staff, a more productive workplace and increased profitability for your business.