Why Improving Employee Engagement Is Difficult

Without a strong understanding of employee engagement and why it matters, it's impossible to begin making improvements that can help your organization.

Employee engagement represents the levels of enthusiasm and connection employees have with their company. It's a measure of how motivated individuals are to put in additional effort for their company, and a sign of how dedicated they are to remaining there. Notably, employee engagement is a result that depends upon the actions of an organization, particularly the actions driven by leadership, managers, and people teams. Defining employee engagement is something, but understanding what drives it at your company and why it's worth buying is sometimes more complex.

The difficulty of improving employee engagement

Concern over employee engagement isn't something new, however, measuring it as a key performance indicator (KPI) on par with profitability and market share is.

A frustrating majority of business leaders around the world believe employee engagement is essential— unfortunately, a lot of those exact same companies have a hard time to completely maximize engagement.

These are a few of the factors why improving employee engagement is so challenging:

Without a strong understanding of employee engagement and why it matters, it's impossible to begin making improvements that can help your organization. Common engagement-boosting guidance frequently consists of one-size-fits-all options that are pricey, hardly ever drive long-lasting results, and aren't right for everybody.

In some cases employee engagement is misinterpreted and dismissed as a buzzword— likened to worker joy or satisfaction.

We understand that employee engagement is more than that. Without insight into what's driving employee engagement, it's simple to waste time on the wrong employee engagement initiatives. Why employee engagement is worth the investment America alone, companies invest upwards of $760 million each year on improving employee morale and job satisfaction. Only 26% of companies state they're excellent at engaging their workers.

Many companies aren't sure how to effectively utilize survey data. Employee engagement surveys aren't a loss.

Measuring employee engagement and acting on survey data. You may get some sense of engagement merely by walking through your workplace, but to truly understand what's occurring with engagement in your company, you need to methodically measure it with staff member surveys. The following suggestions make changing the course of your company with better engagement fast, simple, and inexpensive.

Do employees feel pride about where they work? Engaged workers speak fondly of their work and workplace. Engaged staff members do not desire to leave their company.

The point is: no matter what engaged employees picture for their future, they visualize it at your business. Both customer-facing and supporting employees affect customer satisfaction. Consumers can tell when workers merely "go through the motions" and when personnel truly want to assist. The more expert resources a person has, the more engaged they end up being. The more engaged they are, the more most likely they are to look for out and totally use the available resources, developing an upward spiral.

Know what fantastic employee engagement looks Disengaged staff members are a problem— for company culture, efficiency, and your bottom line. There are two levels of disengagement: Idly disengaged workers (those who have "checked out") and actively disengaged employees (those intentionally acting against business interests). It's simpler to recognize indications of active disengagement because they're typically more noticeable, and a strong cause of turnover. On a team or organizational level, signs of disengagement are:

  • High turnover. Workers invested in their work are 87% less likely to quit than their disengaged coworkers. Actively disengaged employees send resumes or work with an employer, while idly disengaged employees might merely watch out for better opportunities. And, as we know, turnover is extremely expensive.
  • Stagnating innovation. When's the last time an employee talked to you about a game-changing idea? If it's been a while, that may be because just 2.7% of disengaged workers say their task "highlights their most imaginative ideas," compared to 57% of engaged staff members.
  • Low share price growth. Companies with higher general engagement have, usually, a 26.5% higher share growth than other businesses. If you're not striking your development goals, low employee engagement could be the perpetrator.
  • Excessive absenteeism. Worker burnout can result in stress, sickness, and fatigue— all of which can cause personnel to call in sick more frequently. Burnout is contagious, so look for high absenteeism across groups.

Know what disengagement looks like

Efficient employee engagement questions collect data specifically regarding engagement. Both parts are important for really understanding employee engagement within your company. Ask better survey questions

Due to the fact that employee engagement is an outcome, you need to ask more questions to understand what's driving employee engagement.

Learning and advancement and confidence in management have long affected employee engagement, but being able to stand behind quality items and services that get better over time is rapidly becoming nearly as essential.

Demographic data

Collecting demographic data allows leaders to understand not just how staff members feel, and also which groups of employees are engaged, and which aren't. Are more recent workers proud to work in your company while veterans seem disenchanted? It's here that you'll start to reveal why engagement levels are at their current level.

Getting insights from your employee engagement survey and understanding what's driving engagement is fundamental to enhancing employee engagement. Worldwide, companies see a typical engagement rate of 72%. Companies in Asia-Pacific see typical engagement levels of 75%, while Europe sits at 71%.

Benchmark your data

Where are your employees going when they leave your company? It would be easier to strike your perfect engagement number if you were sure what that number should be? Listen to your workers. Change is hard, even when you can validate it. That's why it's essential to get buy-in across the company. To do that, you need to share your factors for conducting surveys, what you've gained from the data and your prepare for enhancing employee engagement. Employees radio silence after a survey finishes up leaves employees with unpredictability. What is management going to do about the issues I raised? Will there be more surveys, or was this it?

If you don't communicate with workers around why you're conducting surveys, you leave them wondering whether their reactions really matter. That's why we recommend you share as much data as you can, as quickly as it's reasonable to do so. You don't have to share whatever. Often, it's best not to. However, businesses that share how they've used previous surveys to make strides and what the goals are for future surveys can expect an 85— 90% response rate.

As an HR expert, you might be more in-tune with engagement levels than the rest of the company but had a hard time to get monetary approval for brand-new initiatives. Survey results may be the data you need to get buy-in. If managers do not understand why changes are being made or don't feel they have the resources they need, brand-new initiatives will rapidly stall out.

Share survey results transparently

Too many surveys can become a drag for employees. There's no point in taking an engagement pulse survey once again if absolutely nothing's altered, and staff members quickly tire of responding to questions they don't believe make a distinction. Doing so highlights how important employee feedback is at your business.

Interested in learning how technology can help you increase employee engagement? Learn more about our people analytics and employee engagement software.