2017 started out with a pop of champagne after my only son got down on one knee to ask his girlfriend to marry him. It’s hard to explain a mother’s pride to see her son take on the responsibilities of marriage and moving toward long-term commitment and happiness. I like to believe I played a small part in helping him become the mature and confident man he is today, but there is also a twinge of sadness when I realize he may not need me the same way he has in the past.
Though Cam may be my only biological son, I have around 180 people in the Office Equipment Group who still need me to be committed to their well-being, and we have our own type of engagement upon which to focus. For my employees, my leadership and guidance directly impact their engagement at GreatAmerica.
Why is employee engagement important?
According to Gallup, only 33% of employees in the U.S. are engaged. Yet Gallup also reports that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. Whether or not you believe these statistics, it’s fair to reason that employees who are engaged have more care and passion for what they do and more commitment to their company, leading to the “extra effort” to please their customers – internally and externally. This clearly can help differentiate your business from the competition.
So… what does an engaged employee look like? How do I know when I see one?
Engaged employees are intellectually and emotionally involved in their work on a day-to-day basis. They have a strong desire to make a positive difference and voluntarily give more of themselves than is technically required. They collaborate with their peers, striving to exceed organizational goals. They execute with a sense of urgency that shows their customers they care about them. And, probably most importantly – they are constantly learning, thinking and finding ways to improve themselves, their team and the company.
How do you measure employee engagement?
Every other year, with the help of a third party firm, GreatAmerica conducts an employee engagement survey to measure the engagement of our team members, and to better understand what is driving our employees’ level of commitment to the organization. Employee engagement surveys tap into your best source of information on improving your business while creating a leading indicator of your future talent retention, customer satisfaction and operational and financial performance. (See graphic below.) It can also help you identify specific areas where you can execute better.
What do you gain from an employee engagement survey?
The true importance of an employee engagement survey is to shed light on your culture. The individual engagement of each employee drives your culture and differentiates you in the markets you serve. Therefore it is critical that you obtain feedback, measure, and monitor your company’s performance levels for areas of improvement. But don’t stop there. For positive results, you must be willing to make the investment to take action on your findings and make (and communicate) the appropriate improvements.
Engagement drives energy that induces action that translates into market differentiation.
To implement an employee engagement survey feedback and action planning process, start by designing and conducting an employee engagement survey, then take action on the results you uncover. While it’s not an overnight transformation, it won’t be long before you start seeing the positive impacts. This strategic approach to building a sustainable business with engaged team members will surely help you differentiate your business. Like my son, your employees may be willing to make a long-term commitment!
Resources: If you're interested in building stronger employee enagement through cultivation of your company culture, check out PathShare HR Services Cultivating Culture servcies.
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