Engaged Employees Turn Productivity into Profitability - Employee DevelopmentPosted: 13/11/2015 12:00am
Before we look at the final factor for developing strong employee engagement, let’s first recap why this topic is important. Why is employee engagement critical for your business? It’s simple: to make higher profits. Businesses with more engaged employees have 51% higher productivity (Harter, J.K., Schmidt, F.L., & HayesT.L., Psychology, 2002 Vol. 87, No. 2), 9% higher shareholder returns (Towers Watson, 2009), and organizations with highly engaged employees achieve twice the annual net income of organizations whose employees lag behind on engagement (The Impact of Employee Engagement – Kenexa). In addition to these statistics, the personal benefits to the engaged employee are staggering. Being able to provide valuable input in an environment where your values match those of your company allows for personal growth that can’t be matched. “Employer understanding of the business strategy and how their work contributes to company performance is one of the top drivers of engagement.” (The Conference Board, 2006). Providing employees with feedback and aligning company goals with employee performance is one of the most important ways to develop engaged employees.
Development can tie directly to an employee’s attitude. Engaged employees are driven to develop new skills at a more rapid rate than those who are less involved in the business’ goals and values. Employees should always be given the opportunity to grow professionally. Providing training or further education can keep your employees up to date on new advancements in their field and employees are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work as well. Remember that quantity does not necessarily reflect quality. 65% of employees say the quality of training and learning opportunities positively influences their engagement (Learning’s Role in Employee Engagement, ASTD 2008). Ensure your training is up to date and relevant to each of your employees.
As an example, Cortex provides a program called the Cortex University (or CortexU) to new employees as a basis for understanding our business. The developed curriculum gives staff a baseline from which they can expand their knowledge in a specific field but also opens a door for them to continue to enhance their skillset. Let’s look at this from a monetary perspective; the cost of turnover for entry-level to management-level positions can range from $3000 to $8000. Alternatively, on average, organizations spend $1,208 per employee on training and developing current employees. The cost of retention is far more financially responsible than hiring new employees.
Acknowledging and recognizing employees for their contributions in the work place can go a long way toward keeping them motivated and engaged. However, these needs may not necessarily be tied to monetary rewards. In a survey by Westminster College, employees indicated several incentives that would inspire performance, two of which being boosting morale and pr aise/recognition. Monetary awards fell to the third spot on the list with only 18% preference. In addition, research by Idea Connect indicated that a recognition program can boost performance by up to 44%. Set clear and realistic expectations and offer recognition when your employee genuinely offers up good performance. Help your employees do their best work by offering the tools and motivation to do so.
The ultimate goal is to provide employees the opportunity to perform their best in an atmosphere that encourages passion, cooperation, and personal/professional development. “Employees who report feeling valued by their employer are 60% more likely to report they are motivated to do their very best for their employer” (via Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, American Psychology Association Harrison Interactive Workplace Survey). Not only can a motivated workforce drive growth but it can also save you money. A Gallup study found disengaged employees cost companies $300 billion in lost productivity each year. By encouraging your employees to speak openly and become engaged with their peers, you can save your company money and foster innovation and growth for your business.