Why employee engagement is important
Research shows that organisations with high levels of employee engagement are more efficient and effective, and that highly engaged employees:
- are more customer focused, find they are more creative at work, and take less time off sick;
- care about the future of their organisation and put in greater effort to help it meet its objectives;
- feel proud of the organisation they work for and are inspired to do their best and motivated to deliver the organisation’s objectives.
Surely this is what the UK needs at a time when UK productivity has stagnated since 2008/9 and remains about 15% below historical trends, and where UK GDP per hour is around 17% below the G7 average.
The world of work is changing fast. The UK population is ageing, with fewer young people coming into the job market, educational standards rising in India and the Far East, and innovation thriving around the Pacific Rim.
As an employer, how will you attract and retain the talented workforce you want? Are you offering what millennials want? Are you focussed on profits or process but not people? What happens when the people go elsewhere? In the 21st Century, the UK’s best assets are our people and our ability to enable them to innovate.
As a potential employee, what most attracts you to an organisation? One which values you and invests in you right from the beginning, involving you in shaping the future, ensures you are treated with respect, stretched and rewarded, where you are part of the team, no matter how different you are from others around you.
Organisations embedding the enablers of employee engagement as the way they work have more chance of surviving in the new global economy, because they are building the future with, and around, their people.
We have been testing the proposition that higher engagement leads to higher organisational and individual performance. We have now have a substantial body of evidence showing the correlation between higher engagement and higher performance:
- Engaging for Success (2009) – David MacLeod and Nita Clarke’s foundational report identifying four enablers of employee engagement in a range of organisations across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
- Nailing the Evidence (2012) – demonstrating the link between high levels of employee engagement and organisational performance
- Wellbeing and Engagement (2014) – demonstrating the links between high levels of employee engagement and levels of employee well-being