Every manager wants to lead employees who are committed and connected to their work. In other words, they want a team of engaged employees. But why, exactly, is this so important? What are the benefits of employee engagement?
A lot of things play into employee engagement. Things like how happy employees feel at work, how connected they are with their peers and manager, and how often they feel recognized and appreciated for their contributions are just a few factors of engagement.
When employees are truly engaged, teams go from being good to being great. Challenges turn into opportunities, outcomes turn into achievements, and people give it their all. Let’s explore this more closely…
The benefits of employee engagement
7 Benefits of employee engagement
The reason employee engagement is so important is simple: it comes with a host of benefits. These include employee benefits, but also benefits for teams, for managers, and for the organization as a whole.
1. Better team performance
Employee engagement doesn’t just benefit individual employees, it benefits the team. This is because engaged employees perform at a higher level. And when you have a group of engaged employees working together, the team performs at a higher level.
Not only that, but employee morale can be contagious. When team members are surrounded by driven and motivated peers who care about what they do, they’re more likely to feel engaged in their own role. Individual engagement leads to team engagement, and individual performance improves team performance.
2. Increased employee productivity
Highly engaged employees are more efficient, and produce higher-quality work. Why? Because they’re personally invested in their job, and their performance matters to them. They’re aligned with the team and business goals, and accountable for their individual contribution. This means increased productivity on your team.
Check in on employee engagement in every 1-on-1 meeting. If you spot a drop in performance or productivity, it could be an indication of disengagement.
3. Higher employee retention and lower turnover rates
If you want to build a high-performing team, you need your employees to stick around. It’s hard for teams to do their best work if employees are constantly cycling in and out. When long-standing employees leave, they take valuable knowledge and expertise with them. Then, training new hires is a significant investment of time, energy, and resources.
An engaged, satisfied employee who’s committed to their objectives is less likely to leave. So having more engaged employees makes your team stronger, more experienced, and better equipped to hit your targets.
Conduct stay interviews regularly. Unlike exit interviews, stay interviews help you spot a disengaged employee before a valuable team member leaves. Every 3 months, ask employees about what’s keeping them at the company.
4. Achieving team objectives
Speaking of hitting targets, employee engagement plays a huge role in your team’s success and achievements. As a manager, it’s natural to focus your attention on your team’s goals. But when you shift your focus towards employee engagement has a direct, positive impact on your objectives. The good news?
Team members who believe in the vision are what you need to take you there. And they will when they’re engaged in their work and aligned with your strategy.
5. Lower absenteeism
Another benefit of employee engagement? Engaged employees show up, and show up fully. Disengaged employees are more likely to miss days, and less likely to be fully present when they’re there. But when your team not only shows up every day, but shows up engaged, excited, and ready to work, it makes it easier to innovate, hit goals, and perform at the highest level.
Reach out to employees when you notice changes in their behaviour like taking more sick days or participating less in team meetings. Avoid coming from a place of frustration or judgment, and come from a place of care. Maybe something is going on that you couldn’t have spotted otherwise, and you might even be able to help.
6. Less destructive workplace stress…
Engaged employees and disengaged employees are both susceptible to workplace stress. The outcome of that stress can be different based on engagement levels, but managers also play a big role in this.
For engaged employees with supportive managers, some stress at work is likely easier to manage, and could even become a motivator. The key is the support, because not only are they dedicated, they also know they’re not alone in facing challenges.
On the other hand, when engagement that was once strong is lost, it can lead to the type of stress that can be detrimental to people’s well being. And this is especially true when employees don’t feel supported. People can’t show up at their best when they’re stressed out from work.
Be mindful of when and how you push people. Stress can be a sign that we’re on the brink of something amazing! But it can also completely hinder us from reaching those achievements. Make sure your team members know that you have their back, and that stress is only ok if it’s propelling them forward.
7. Lower risk of burnout
Employee burnout, which the World Health Organization defines as an “occupational phenomenon…resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” is one of the biggest issues facing today’s workforce.
When employees reach the point of burnout, it has serious consequences – for them, for your team, and for your organization. Burnout is bad news. But the good news? By keeping your employees engaged with their work and monitoring stress levels on your team, they’re at a lower risk for burnout.
Burnout symptoms to look out for:
- Mental and physical exhaustion
- Lowered productivity,
- Decreased sense of accomplishment,
- Decreased job satisfaction, and – you guessed it,
- Lack of engagement with work.
How to keep employee engagement up on your team
Your employee engagement strategy is a part of how you manage your team, it doesn’t have to mean adding to your workload. Here are some engagement ideas you can try:
Make work-life balance a non-negotiable
No matter how much employees love what they do, if they’re overwhelmed or always on, they’re going to burn out and disengage. A strong company culture will encourage a healthy work-life balance, which leads to a more engaged workforce. This is especially important on remote or distributed teams, where it’s easy for the line between “work” and “home” to blur even more. As a manager, you can make balance the norm on your team.
Set clear, firm expectations and boundaries around work communication, on and off hours, and taking time off. Openly encourage people to take breaks, book long weekends, and pursue their passions outside of work. Make sure that everyone feels comfortable to log off early if they’ve completed their work for the day.
Keep a pulse on engagement, and talk about it
An employee engagement survey is a great way to collect information on how people feel. Measuring employee engagement helps you spot any issues before they spiral into bigger problems. Officevibe sends weekly surveys to every member of your team so you can keep a pulse on engagement levels. Plus, you can collect employee feedback on an ongoing basis. From there, you can plan your 1-on-1s (and keep track of your notes) directly in the app, so engagement is always a talking point.
Help your team set – and achieve – their goals
Your team will be more engaged when they feel like they’re making meaningful contributions to the business objectives. First, help them understand those objectives. Then you can work together with them to set team goals that are aligned. Finally, set individual goals with team members so they have a clear path forward, and something to strive toward.
You can set and track individual goals with each employee using Officevibe, and connect them to team goals in the app. Plus, it’s easy to set smaller action items in every 1-on-1, and then add it as a talking point for your next meeting so you’re sure to follow up. This makes goal progression a part of every discussion, so employees feel supported and empowered.
More engaged employees mean higher-performing teams
Employee engagement is a crucial part of high-performing teams. Now that you know the benefits of employee engagement, you can put these suggestions into practice – and watch your team thrive as a result.