Positive Correlation: Employee Engagement vs Productivity
In recent years there has been substantial research undertaken on the correlation between employee engagement and company productivity. Engagement rests on an employee feeling respected and that their work has purpose. This feeling of involvement leads to improved morale and subsequently increased productivity company wide.
Regardless as to whether a company sells products or services, or whether they sell direct to consumers or business to business, this correlation between engagement and productivity remains. This was supported by a recent study by Gallup on how employee engagement drives growth.
In our increasingly globalized world retaining employee engagement is not always easy. However, utilising the management techniques outlined below will make a strong start, regardless of the size or geographical diversity of the business.
How you communicate within a business is vital to employee engagement. Firstly, every employee should have an understanding of their own role, their fit within their business unit and the mission of the company as a whole. This understanding starts from the moment an employee joins the company, so it is important to have an induction process that is implemented across the business, and which has a cohesive message.
All other forms of communication should reinforce the ethos of the business, from internal memos through to the policies and procedures contained in the HR employee handbook. It is important to note that communication such as this isn’t going to happen naturally, it needs planning at a senior level and then dissemination via extensive training to everyone involved in line management.
The environment in which your employees work will play a big part in how content they are. A place of work needs to be clean, well ordered and equipment needs to be easily accessible. As long as these bases are covered it will negate any employee frustrations. If you can go further and provide elements such as well stocked kitchen areas, break-out sections for rest and relaxation and even staff perks such as a cafeteria or gym, this will boost morale further.
It is also important that employees have access to all the resources they need to do their job efficiently. For example, computer equipment needs to be up to date and able to deal with the demands software places upon it. If employees consistently have to wait for programs to load, this can lower their motivation and productivity.
Recognition and Reward
Maintaining high staff morale is a delicate balance between recognition and reward. Naturally employees come to work to earn a salary that supports their lifestyle, so the level of remuneration you provide needs to be fair in terms of market rate. Otherwise you are going to struggle to retain high performers.
However, salary is not the only motivator of staff. A range of excellent employee benefits will reinforce the concept that you care about your employees’ welfare. Flexible benefits are a particularly popular choice for staff as it allows them a degree of autonomy in selecting what is important for them at their stage of life whether that be pension or additional holiday.
We all like to know that we are doing a good job and so the other element in this equation is both privately and publicly recognizing achievement. This can take the form of bonuses and commission, which is a private statement or revolve around employee awards and public declarations of thanks.
Culture and Co-workers
As illustrated by Forbes in their article on common causes of workplace demotivation, the culture of the company, team spirit and the absence of unpleasant co-workers can all lead to much higher employee engagement. We all have been in jobs that maybe haven’t suited us fully but if the business is a nice place to work, with helpful colleagues and an absence of office politics, we can even be willing to overlook lower than average pay.
However, this positive culture rarely happens naturally, rather it is fostered by the management, who need to create an environment that is lively and welcoming.
If there is a high level of employee engagement within a company this is reflected in the strong relationship employees build with clients. This ultimately leads to higher sales and more consistent repeat business. As we have seen, engagement is the core foundation for increasing productivity and this is echoed by the findings of ACAS in their guidance that happy and productive employees will equal business growth.
Based in Hertfordshire, Helen is a keen writer in the area of business, especially topics regarding management, employees and HR. She writes on behalf of Berghind Joseph (http://www.berghindjoseph.com/insights/employee-engagement-strategies/), an employment engagement agency who are based in London. Outside of work, Helen likes spending time with her family friends.