Employee Engagement: A New Form of Workplace Happiness

A lot of claims are made around the power of employee happiness, particularly its ability to improve business and profits. However now employee engagement is being brought into focus as a more effective route to the same ends. But how do you cultivate this highly sought-after workplace passion?

First let’s look at what this truly means. Forbes’ definition states that it “is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals”. It’s worth noting this is different to employee happiness or even satisfaction. This emotional commitment does however mean an engaged employee actually cares about their work and their company. They don’t work just for a paycheck, but towards the organisation’s goals.

One study found that companies with engaged workers have 6% higher net profit margins, and according to another; engaged companies have 5x higher shareholder returns over five years.

Employee retention and loyalty are also vastly improved when employees are engaged. Findings by Gallup showed 51% of workers are looking to leave their jobs. Glassdoor reported that 53% of employees are confident they could find a similar position within six months. If you don’t give your top talent a reason to stay, they may well leave in today’s climate.

This increase in profits is the combined result of a whole bunch of things: employees are happier, healthier and more loyal, improving the company image as well as performance and morale. Engaged workplaces that show respect for their employees’ needs reduce the risk of everything from obesity to chronic disease. This means less sick days, and less sick days means more productivity and higher turnover. Hooray!

Employees who feel a connection to their company are rarely motivated by fears such as job security or other work-imposed pressures. Instead, organisations that offer rewards and incentives such as travel programmes, company offsites and celebrations, win in the end. The American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is lost every year due to workplace stress.

Employee retention and loyalty is also vastly improved when employees are engaged. One report by Gallup said that 51% of workers are looking to leave their jobs. Research by Glassdoor reported that 53% of employees are confident that if they quit or lost their current job, they could find a similar position within six months. If you don’t give your top talent a reason to stay, they may well leave in today’s climate.

So how do you make time for employee engagement?

There are some easy places to start. You create memories and experiences. Celebrations, fun challenges, seasonal themed office activities – things that keep staff stimulated and break up the working months. And don’t worry about the costs; the improvement in company image, culture, morale and productivity will more than cover the investment in your people. Just ask Sir Richard Branson. His top tip on how to get the most out of a business and its employees is to… “Throw the biggest staff party – work should be fun and enjoyable.” So, it comes as no surprise that we’ve put on a few for Virgin.

Surprisingly the summer party seems to get a lot less love than the Christmas party. And with so long to wait until Christmas, it’s in everyone’s interest to reward and recognise staff’s achievements a little earlier. Check out our top tips on how to throw the mother of all summer parties for your brand in the second part of this blog:

How to Increase Employee Engagement & Throw the Perfect Summer Party for your Brand

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