Certain buzzwords come and go, often leaving us wondering if they're worth all this attention. 'Employee engagement' to many sounds like just one of these words.
However the truth is, it's not. In fact, employee engagement is a topic that we should all be prioritizing if we consider the significant costs associated with neglecting it.
Engagement, what's in the name?
So, what exactly is employee engagement? If we intend to address it, we must comprehend it.
Employee engagement can be seen as the opposite of burnout, as described by Schaufeli. It involves employees who are enthusiastic and committed to their work. All in pursuit of their organization's goals.
Jiang and Shen describe employee engagement as a motivational concept. A dynamic state where employees invest their physical, emotional, and cognitive energies in their work.
Things that have a positive effect on employee engagement? Authentic leadership and transparent communication, impacting contextual performance and turnover intention.
The cost of ignoring employee engagement
- Employee Attrition: Neglecting employee engagement, results in a negative work environment, and a higher likelihood of losing valuable employees due to burnout or causing them to leave the company altogether. These employees are hard to replace, which harms departmental productivity and increases recruitment costs.
- More Sick Days: Disengaged employees call in sick more often. Leading to increased absenteeism and decreased productivity. This reduces overall company output and profitability.
- Bad Reputation & Poor Customer Service: Disengaged employees may speak out, and damage your company's reputation, making your company less attractive to potential hires. Unengaged employees also provide less satisfactory customer service, potentially driving away customers and impacting the growth of the company.
You don't need to be an economist or a complex systems thinker to see that these factors ultimately result in higher recruitment costs, leaving your HR department overwhelmed with hiring tasks instead of working on a sustainable system that maximally supports and engages employees.
Engagement is the ultimate cheerleader of recruitment
It is said that "Engagement is the new recruitment," but maybe it's more accurate to say, "Engagement is the ultimate cheerleader of recruitment".
Engaged employees deliver positive outcomes, including a stronger employer brand, improved employee retention, reduced absenteeism, a more creative and friendly workforce, and a better overall work atmosphere.
Employee engagement, let's get started!
Start with the essentials to build a sustainable system that prioritizes employee engagement within your organization. Begin by understanding why employees disengage within your organization.
Instead of ignoring disengagement or taking it as a personal insult to you or your company's values, treat it as feedback that assists you in closing that back door. Disengagement highlights areas where your organization may be leaking valuable talent.
Before you rush to bring in new talent, realize that investing in employee engagement isn't just a bonus for your employees; it’s a key factor in your company’s success and long-term stability. Exploring the reasons behind employee disengagement within your company can be as useful as finding clues in a game of Cluedo.