What is engagement
Engagement (a verbal noun, originated from the verb "to engage" - to induce, to involve in something) — is a physical, emotional and intellectual state in which employees strive to do their best work and achieve results.
In order for an employee to make maximum efforts in performing work tasks, two conditions must be met: the work must capture and motivate them, and the external environment must help to effectively perform work duties. That is, engagement consists of two components - the employee's internal attitude to work and a productive work environment.
Often experts confuse engagement and loyalty: a loyal employee is attributed to the qualities of an engaged person, and to an engaged one - the qualities of a loyal one.
Loyalty (derived from the French loyal and translated as "loyalty") — a favorable attitude towards someone or something. An employee can be loyal to a manager, colleagues, or the company as a whole. Loyalty does not reflect the productivity of the environment and employee motivation to work.
A loyal employee may not show high productivity, and an engaged employee may not share the company's values. Engagement and loyalty are related concepts, but still different.
Why companies should develop employee engagement
High employee engagement provides the company with economic benefits. The engaged employee makes the most of their experience, skills, time to complete the task faster and better.
Let's consider examples of engagement at work:
- Use a creative approach to problem solving.
- Finding mutual understanding with colleagues for faster and better work.
- Expanding boundaries when looking for clients or partners.
- Attention to the needs of customers - external and internal.
- Professional development.
- Desire to optimize your own work.
- Initiative during brainstorming sessions.
Creation of conditions for productive work of employee does not imply serious investments. In turn, the engaged employees perform much better than a larger team, but disengaged or is additionally motivated teams.
See our video for the economic benefits of engagement development.
Financial risks caused by low engagement
Decreased employee engagement can pose a variety of risks to the company. Let's consider the main ones.
Low engagement financial risks
There are at least two financial risks - customer loss and, as a result, a decrease in revenue, and an increase in production losses.
Loss of customers and decrease in revenue
Low employee engagement translates into falling sales and rising costs. Happy Job's bespoke study compared the results of two divisions with a 7 percentage point difference in engagement. The unit with the worst engagement rate lost 26% more customers. Through the feedback form, customers complained about the indifferent attitude of employees, inability or unwillingness to present the product. Among the disengaged, up to 50% of employees do not know the features of the products, the differences from competitors' analogues, the Gallup Institute calculated in the course of the study.
The engaged employees, in turn, are 25% better at meeting customer needs and thus generating 20% more revenue for the company.
Companies with highly engaged
employees bypass their competitors
in profit by 2.5 times.
Increased production losses
Engaged employees are not only more efficient at doing their jobs, but also less likely to make mistakes. The Gallup Institute, after completing its research, announced the following figures: employees with low engagement rates are 21% less productive, 41% more likely to make mistakes at work, and 48% more likely to be victims of industrial accidents.
Negative phenomena from low employee engagement
Low engagement can lead to negative phenomena in the company that are difficult to evaluate, but which create problems.
- Total control. Leaders will be in charge of supervising their subordinates, not making important decisions or developing the potential of teams.
- Lack of autonomy. Only the top levels in the organisation will have authority, the middle level and rank-and-file employees will not.
- Lack of trust. Instead of work, employees will be engaged in sorting out the relationship. This will inevitably affect the quality of collaboration and employee initiative.
- Priority of the leader’s opinion over the client’s needs. The staff will try to please the manager, not the external customer. As a result, it will negatively affect quality of customer service or manufactured products.
- Bureaucracy. The consequence of the problems described above will be an inflated reporting system, poorly settled workflow, since disengaged employees are not engaged in improving their processes.
All engaged employees are alike, and all
disengaged are disengaged in their own way.
What factors influence employee engagement
Employee engagement is influenced by their work environment and one’s personal motivation.
The main condition for engagement is the productivity of the work environment
The work environment is the environment where employees perform their duties. The working environment includes several dozen components - processes, managerial competencies, employee feedback on current tasks, interaction with colleagues, corporate culture, and more. If each element of the work environment helps to do the job as efficiently as possible, employee engagement will grow.
Let's take a look at the 10 engagement factors that are most strongly associated with high employee productivity.
Leader and their management skills
The direct manager plays a huge role in employee engagement. Employee productivity will depend on their ability to:
- • be approachable;
- • be goal oriented;
- • demonstrate the importance of teamwork;
- • set clear task;
- • organize short but effective team meetings.
On the Happy Job platform, this element of the work environment is scored with the manager metric.
Awareness of the company's strategy
Engagement occurs when an employee realizes the value of the work they are doing. It is possible to evaluate the scale of the contribution, the real benefit only on one condition - if you understand what and for whom the company is doing, what is its mission and global goal. The manager will allow subordinates to see the "big picture" if they talk about the strategy of the company and the division for at least the next year.
Happy Job uses the Strategy metric to measure this engagement factor.
Recognition of merit
Employee recognition and employee engagement are strongly linked. Regular, well-grounded and, what is important, sincere praise from the manager motivates the subordinate to repeat their successes at work.
This component of the Happy Job workspace is scored on the Recognition metric.
Feedback from the manager
Feedback broadly means review or response. If we talk about working relationships, then the feedback from the manager to the subordinate is an opinion about the tasks performed, the employee's role in the project and the team. As a process, it implies regularity, suitable conditions (in private), two-way discussion and constructiveness.
Work feedback helps employees to realize their value as a specialist and team member, to grow professionally and therefore is an important element of engagement. Unfortunately, today only 25% of employees can boast of receiving quality feedback from their manager.
Happy Job uses the Feedback metric to evaluate this component of the workspace.
You can work productively only if the processes in the department and the company are debugged. If an employee, while doing their job, struggles with the absurdity of the requirements, the slowness of colleagues from other departments or a lack of resources, their productivity will drop to zero, along with the desire to take initiative.
For this component of the workspace, the Happy Job platform provides the Processes metric.
Conditions for implementing changes
By analogy with workflows, a company must have a mechanism for the implementation of particularly complex tasks. Usually, these are not routine tasks that occur rarely or once. For example, replacing equipment, providing a new service to a customer, or moving.
The conditions for the implementation of complex, atypical projects on the Happy Job platform are evaluateed by the "Changes" metric.
Work engagement is also driven by an understanding of career prospects. Employees need to see the connection between their job success, professional development, and chances for promotion.
According to statistics, the lack of opportunity to build a career in the company triggers low productivity in 45% of specialists.
On the Happy Job platform, this component of the workspace is measured by the Career metric.
Today, up to 50% of tasks in the company are solved by team efforts, and the percentage tends to grow. The productivity of the team and each individual employee depends on the presence of mutual understanding and mutual assistance in the team.
Happy Job has a Colleagues metric for this workspace component.
Balanced work and life
Healthy habits and minimal stress in the workplace keep employees productive. Our research shows that not overworking makes your workforce at least 40% more productive.
On the Happy Job platform, this component of the workspace is measured by the Balance metric.
Salary and working conditions
Employment satisfaction is also influenced by satisfaction with salary and working conditions. For example, if employees are confident that their work is worth more, productivity will drop.
Factors related to working conditions and compensation are hygienic - they affect engagement only in case of negative indicators. If employees are satisfied with working conditions and salary, then further improvement of these factors alone will not lead to a significant increase in engagement.
To measure this component of the workspace, Happy Job has a Salaries & Conditions metric.
The inner attitude of the employee is the second condition for engagement
In addition to the work environment, employee engagement is influenced by their own attitude. As a rule, these are love for the profession, personal ambitions, a desire to be useful, and so on.
A productive work environment in a company has a positive effect on an employee's personal productivity. A corporate culture aimed at Employee development, high-quality feedback from the manager, a friendly atmosphere in the team and other factors can instill in a person a desire to grow, to do something useful for society.
A critically unproductive environment will harm a person's personal productivity. An engaged employee will feel uncomfortable among the disengaged colleagues - like a black sheep. His energy will be spent on overcoming work problems, confronting general indifference. Therefore, as a result, he will either adopt the “work style” of colleagues, or leave the company.
Employee engagement analysis
The Happy Job engagement research methodology measures the productivity of the work environment. To do this, employees are asked 50 questions, combined into 10 metrics with their submetrics.
How engagement is calculated on the Happy Job platform
Employee responses during the survey form a score on a scale from 1 to 10 for each sub-metric. Then the arithmetic mean is calculated over all 50 submetrics. This number will be an indicator of staff engagement.
Employees are considered to be engaged if they have an average score of 7 or more across all submetrics.
Happy Job Engagement Metrics Map
The metrics map is the main tool of the platform for evaluating and developing engagement. In online mode, you can observe metrics, sub-metrics and the dynamics of their changes across the company. More detailed information is also available: data by divisions, metrics issues, "development zones" and industry benchmarks.
How to achieve accurate research results
There is only one way to get reliable results from an engagement survey - if you provide employees with 100% anonymity when participating in a survey.
99.9% of employees fear that honest or negative comments and responses will negatively affect the relationship with the manager and colleagues. Fear of interviewing can only be overcome by establishing a safe space to collect feedback.
The engagement survey allows us to divide employees into three groups: engaged, poorly engaged, and disengaged.
This group includes employees who have an average engagement score of 9 or more.
The employees engaged tend to be highly efficient in completing work tasks, as they have the most productive work environment created for them.
Slightly engaged employees
This engagement group includes employees with an average score of 7 or more, but less than 9.
Slightly engaged employees cannot realize their full potential, as some elements of the working environment do not help or interfere with work.
This engagement group includes employees with an average score of less than 7.
Disengaged employees show low productivity because they work in a critically unproductive environment.
How often to conduct engagement surveys
The frequency of the surveys depends on the size of the company and the objectives of the study.
There are several research formats:
- • Annual survey. This option involves conducting a study of 58 questions once or twice a year.
- • Pulse poll. After conducting the main survey, problem metrics are identified, on their basis a questionnaire of 10-15 questions is formed for pulse measurements between large studies. The format will allow you to monitor weaknesses in the working environment and take timely measures to improve the situation. As a result, the next big study manages to show excellent results. The format is recommended as the most effective model for implementing changes, providing a constant feedback channel and continuous development.
How to increase employee engagement
The Happy Job platform provides recommendations for improving performance for each sub-metric.
Take, for example, the Culture submetric of the Recognition metric.
To improve this element of the work environment, you can apply six measures suggested by the Happy Job platform. For example, explain to employees how to properly praise colleagues, or make it a rule to publicly celebrate the professional achievements of employees.
If you implement the measures proposed by the platform, you can significantly increase employee engagement.