Matt Tenney, Contributor
Employee engagement is the result of a positive, satisfactory relationship between an organization and its employees. High levels of employee engagement occur when employees feel a strong connection and dedication to an organization’s mission, vision, and core values.
For employee engagement to grow organically, employees’ relationship with their organization must be rooted in trust, loyalty, integrity, and a mutually beneficial system of healthy communication and feedback between leadership and their team.
While it’s clear that employee engagement holds many benefits for employers, including high rates of retention, high performance, increased productivity, and improved profitability, it also provides employees with numerous benefits that inspire loyalty and boost overall job satisfaction.
Employee engagement is important to employees because it improves job satisfaction, gives their work purpose, makes them feel valued and that their individual contributions are essential to organizational success, and improves their professional and personal well-being.
In this article, we’ll look at the ways in which employee engagement is just as important to individual employee success as it is to the organization’s success.
Employee Engagement Doesn’t Just Benefit Employers
We know employee engagement has a tremendous impact at the organizational level because it can have a significant effect on an organization’s performance and profitability.
But engagement levels are also key to helping employers identify and address the needs of staff and reveal areas that need improvement in order to foster a high level of employee morale. This can give leadership a better understanding of how to create and foster work environments that help employees thrive.
Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox offers this insight: “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person—not just an employee—are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”
This inextricable link between employee satisfaction, better customer service, and increased profitability is a clear indication that the benefits employees experience when they feel strongly engaged in the work they do and have a high level of trust in their organization are so important for the future success of organizations.
Engaged Employees Are More Satisfied With Their Jobs
When employees are engaged, they tend to be happier in their personal and professional lives. This will boost their job satisfaction, which will improve their performance, loyalty, and cultural alignment, and inspire a true dedication to the company’s mission and vision.
In organizations with high levels of engagement, employees feel satisfied with and take pride in their contributions and the potential impact of those contributions. They are motivated to perform well for the good of the organization.
This leads to a happy, harmonious work environment, high morale, and increased profitability. It also fosters collaboration and innovation throughout the organization.
Job satisfaction can reduce turnover, improve retention, cut down on absenteeism, and foster a collaborative environment where employees truly function as a team, build social bonds, and support each other.
Liking one’s co-workers has been shown to be a huge factor in engagement. It can improve mental health, cut down on work-related anxiety and stress, and reduce turnover.
Engaged Employees Have a Sense of Purpose
Having a sense of purpose that gives a job meaning is so important to keeping workers happy, engaged, and motivated. It’s a major driver of retention, and is playing an increasingly important role in recruitment efforts.
According to a recent study, almost 70% of employees say they would not work for an organization without a strong purpose, 60% would take a pay cut to work at a purpose-driven company, and 90% of employees who work at organizations with a strong sense of purpose say they’re more inspired, motivated, and loyal.
An engaged employee is a purpose-driven employee that is aligned with the core values and purpose of the organization and motivated to work toward that purpose. Employees who feel their work is meaningful will feel a stronger sense of purpose, helping them realize the impact their work can have beyond daily job tasks.
Leaders who recognize the contributions of employees and show them the ways in which their work is helping the organization realize its vision contribute to and encourage their employees’ sense of purpose. This helps to build strong, trusting relationships between employees and leadership.
Engaged Employees Feel Valued
When employees feel a sense of purpose in their jobs, it makes them feel more valued. When there is an organizational culture in place that stresses the value of employees and truly cares about them, employees feel more dedicated to pursuing that purpose.
In order to maintain high levels of engagement, leaders can consistently make efforts to help employees feel that they are valued members of the organization, that their feedback helps drive decision-making, and that they are contributing to the future success of the organization.
When employees feel valued, they are going to be engaged with their work and motivated to perform at their best and better serve clients. The evidence shows that organizations that foster a culture of customer satisfaction through caring for employees experience a competitive advantage.
One of the most amazing results of having a culture of care where employees feel valued is the added value it provides for customers. Employees who truly care about their company and team members will take care of their customers.
Engaged Employees Experience Improved Well-Being
Employee well-being often suffers in many organizations. Overwork, lack of recognition, and toxic work conditions can raise stress levels and lead to absenteeism and turnover.
Employees are increasingly unlikely to stay in jobs where these conditions are the norm.
One of the leading drivers of employee engagement is whether or not employees feel their leaders care about them and are invested in their well-being. When employees are engaged in their work, it boosts their mental well-being.
By caring about employees and investing in their health and well-being, leaders are building a sustainable work environment that offers the flexibility employees need to perform well.
When employees feel that top leadership cares about them, this increases their engagement. Engaged employees experience more job satisfaction, improved mental and physical well-being, and find more meaning in their work.
Matt Tenney is the founder of PeopleThriver and The Generous Group, two companies that aspire to create the best workplace cultures in the world. Matt is also the author of Serve To Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom, and The Mindfulness Edge: How to Rewire Your Brain for Leadership and Personal Excellence. Matt is frequently invited to present keynote speeches at leadership conferences and meetings. His TEDx Talk has been viewed over 1,000,000 times since January, 2020.