There are many different definitions of employee engagement, we have chosen the Engage for Success Movement’s definition:
“A workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of wellbeing”
Engaged organisations have strong and authentic values, with clear evidence of trust and fairness based on mutual respect, where two way promises and commitments – between employers and staff – are understood, and are fulfilled.
An engaged employee experiences a blend of job satisfaction, organisational commitment, job involvement and feelings of empowerment. It is a concept that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Despite there being some debate about the precise meaning of employee engagement there are three things we know about it: it is measurable; it can be correlated with performance; and it varies from poor to great. Most importantly employers can do a great deal to impact on people’s level of engagement. That is what makes it so important, as a tool for business success.
Research show that engagement influences employee performance, and wellbeing significantly strengthens the relationship between employee engagement and performance. Committed employees are more likely to deliver high value customer service – evidence suggests that engaged employees have a significant influence on customer outcomes and sales performance. Moreover, when employees are engaged and thriving, they are more likely to be agile and resilient, so major organisational changes, increased workload or personal issues are unlikely to throw them off course or lead to absenteeism or presenteeism. Likewise, engaged employees have fewer health problems. These factors add up to big savings for companies bottom line in terms of staff costs, productivity and performance.
The Linkages between Wellbeing, Engagement and Performance are well documented. Engage for Success found that engaged employees with high wellbeing were 35% more attached to their organisations than those with lower wellbeing. The CIPD (2010) reported that those who were absorbed in their work were almost 3 times as likely to have six key positive emotions at work (enthusiasm, cheerfulness, optimism, contentment, to feel calm and relaxed) as negative ones (feeling miserable, worries, depressed, gloomy, tense or uneasy). CLC (2008) stated that highly engaged organisations have the potential to reduce staff turnover by 87%. Moreover, companies with highly engaged staff report employees taking an average of 7 absence days per year, approximately half of the 14 days per year reported in low engagement companies.
Academic Research also supports the links between employee engagement and wellbeing, absence and resilience:
Brunetto et al. (2012) reported that work engagement is associated with higher levels of psychological wellbeing.
Schaufeli et al. (2008) stated that work engagement is negatively correlated with burnout.
Sloane et al. (2013) found that “meaningful work leads to lower levels of absence because people are engaged in their work.”
Aon Hewitt research (2012) found that 28% of employees experienced a high level of job related stress in ‘high engagement’ companies (65% engagement and over) versus 39% of employees in low engagement companies.
Bevan (2010) states: “The relationship between employee health and employee commitment and engagement is multifaceted. Indeed, there is research evidence that suggests a two-way, possibly self0reinforcing relationship: healthy employees are more committed and committed employees are more healthy”
There is a better way to work – employee engagement has the potential to transform the modern workplace. We work with employers to first measure and assess employee engagement and then work collaboratively to design a robust, evidenced-based programme that focuses on engagement & wellbeing based on behavioural and organisational change.