“Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. After you become a leader, success is about growing others.”
– Jack Welch
Here, at S.T.A.R.S Corporation, we believe that employees are one of the most essential parts of the company. They drive the company forward. A company can envision a goal, but only the employees can help the company reach its full potential. To keep the company moving forward, S.T.A.R.S Corporation pays heed to employee engagement.
“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.”
– Betty Bender
To work towards employee engagement, it is not merely important, rather it is essential to understand what it really means. It is the level of emotional connectivity that the team members have towards the job, the company, and the goals that the company aims to achieve. In today’s world, employee engagement is swiftly becoming an important factor for the identification of work satisfaction. The employees are on a search for more than just a job where they go to work from 9 till 5. People do not wish to work for a paycheck as they realize that a grand part of their day is going to be spent in the company that they work for. The employees prefer that they are more integrated in the company. They seek to be more involved in not only the work, about also in the ardent drive of the company to grow, be committed towards their organization and more in-touch with their fellow team members. An employee who feels an emotional connection with the company, in such a manner that their vision becomes aligned with the company’s vision, their goals become one with the company’s goals and their progress is such that it supports the progress of the company, these employees can then be referred to as engaged employees.
It is no wonder that employee engagement reflects how invested the person is in the company. It is important to point out that employee engagement is not the same as job satisfaction. Job satisfaction tends to be more transactional; influenced by the salary and benefits that a person receives in an organization. Employee engagement, on the other hand, is not transactional; it is not necessary that an employee with a high salary will also be a highly engaged employee.
“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.”
– Angela Ahrendts
The rise in the importance given to employee engagement is well supported with research. In one of the studies of multiple companies with over an employee base of 500 or more, researchers found out that 71% of the line managers felt that one of the most important and essential factor in the overall success of the company is employee engagement. This goes to show that it engaging the team members is not something that the company can overlook if they aim at being their best. Although, employee engagement is viewed as important and a positive aspect in an organization, the majority of the employees still feel disengaged at work. This low level of engagement could be caused due to several factors including the lack of recognition by the line managers, a low level of communication inside the company and a perceived misalignment with the mission, the vision and the goals of the company.
There is no doubt that the company leaders need to start looking at employee engagement as an important tactical business objective as it is apparent that to retain employee’s long term, it is essential to engage them. This will further translate into a higher levels of productivity and an improved quality of overall work.
WHY DO WE NEED EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
“Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.”
– Zig Ziglar
There are multiple reason why a company should focus their attention on employee engagement. The factors that S.T.A.R.S Corporation feels are the most important are as follows:
In any company, the human resource managers and leaders are centered on the idea of improving the employee engagement at their respective organizations and the retention of the work force is one of the main reasons behind it. The organizations that have a high employee engagement are successful in reducing both; the turnover and the hiring costs. The biggest reason behind these turnovers are disengaged employees who do not feel integrated into the organization and see themselves as an unattached entity with regard to the company. If a company wishes to retain valuable talent, employee engagement is a critical indicator for them. Employee satisfaction is not as black and white as it may seem. It is rather a complex puzzle where every team member has to be considered as a unique individual. It may not be an easy task, but it is quintessential for engaging clients and ensuring that they do not leave their jobs.
“Your number one customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last.”
– Ian Hutchinson
According to the evaluation of Forbes, the employees who are most engaged in their work are also most likely to be motivated to continue working with the company and remain committed to their employer. This in turn, leads the company to achieve their business goals and assist in driving the organization forward, always growing and moving with a forward momentum towards prosperity. Studies have shown that retaining employees is quiet the challenge; with almost 81% of small businesses realizing that turnover is a very costly problem and it also wastes the time of your human resource department.
When an employee decides to leave, it can disrupt the flow of work in an organization. It creates a hurdle in the services being provide and it costs the company financially, upsets the clients due to the uncertainty of their work being delivered on time and replacing a talented employee can cost the company up to 40% of a salary.
BETTER CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
“The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.”
– Sybil F. Stershic
When an employee is well engaged with the company, they will go above and beyond to provide the customers of the company with unparalleled services. Engaged employees take pride in doing their jobs with the best of their capabilities. This may mean that if an employee is well engaged in their organization, it may translate into favorable outcomes for the company: a salesperson will take additional time out of their day to chaperone a potential client through the products being made by the company, a programmer will work irrespective of time to make the customers new program bug free, and a retailer will assist the clients to look for the perfect services and products, no matter how long this process takes.
On the other hand, customers that receive great services will not only return to the organization for any future endeavors, but also tell others around them about their exceptionally pleasant experience with the company. This increases the overall customer loyalty for an organization and profits the company by the frequency of more returning customers.
“Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it.”
– Timothy R. Clark
IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY AND EFFICIENCY
When an employee feels engaged towards their work, they end up being highly beneficial for the organization. These employees will find and create new, innovative methods to produce top tier quality work and that also in the minimum amount of time required. On one hand, a disengaged employee may simply want to come to work each day, put in the least amount of effort and collect a paycheck at the end of their salary cycle. On the other hand, an engaged employee will put in discretionary work to ensure that their efforts yield the highest level of favorable outcomes for the company.
An engaged employee does not feel like they are simply working for a company, they feel like they are a part of the company, and together their efforts will help the company prosper while allowing the person to grow as an individual. This mindset improves the overall productivity of the employee who isn’t working each day to pass the hours, rather they are more centered on the idea of forward momentum and doing exceptional work.
“Turned on people figure out how to beat the competition. Turned off people only complain about being beaten by the competition”
– Ben Simonton
Similar to productivity, there is another noticeable benefit of employee engagement. Employees that feel engaged want to return to work every other day because they strongly believe in the vision and the mission of the company. These employees have a sense of purpose encircling their thoughts which allow the employees to take more ownership of the company and the work that they produce.
Engaged employees are less likely to skip work, and in contrast, they may even make an effort to work in their own time for any missed or important, pending work. This lack of absenteeism from the employees allows the company to complete the work that is in the pipeline without a lot of hurdles in their way. This also means, that the company will end up with having a brand image of punctuality as the company will be able to deliver work on time.
“You’ll attract the employees you need if you can explain why your mission is compelling: not why it’s important in general, but why you’re doing something important that no one else is going to get done.”
– Peter Thiel
ENHANCED COMPANY CULTURE
The culture of a company is very essential for the employees and the organization as a whole. Where a good culture could help the company move forward, a bad culture could break an organization. When the employees of an organization are properly engaged, they understand the importance that they hold in the eyes of the organization. This means that they are far more likely to take out the time to assist in training, advising and leading those around them. These employees are heavily invested in the success of the company, which they believe is built by the employees, hence; they make a conscious effort to make a significant contribution to the organizations triumph of the organization.
Create caring and robust connections between every employee and their work, customers, leaders, managers, and the organization to achieve results that matter to everyone in this sentence.”
– David Zinger
Engaged employees tend to act as the brand supporters and ambassadors inside the organization, as they wholeheartedly wish to see the company shine with its full potential. This helps the company to move forward with a swift momentum and achieve results that are simply not possible if the employees feel unmotivated and disengaged.
BETTER BUSINESS OUTCOMES
The organizations that have better engaged employees report to have 21% higher profitability and they were also scored 17% higher in regards to productivity. These are significant numbers and these statistics alone are enough to make a company think twice about investing their time and effort in engaging the existing human resource of their organization.
“Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”
– Sam Walton
When employees are engaged, they tend to work harder, do a better job of completing tasks, drive up the level of customer satisfaction and allegiance, and bring a greater deal of value to the company. Employee engagement will potentially drive up the profitability margins of the company through the work being produced. This is often lead to innovative ideas within the team, the department, and the organization. If there is one thing that an engaged employee is sure to do, it is that they will for sure drive a positive change in the business outcomes of the company.
DECREASED NUMBER OF SAFETY INCIDENTS
“Dispirited, unmotivated, unappreciated workers cannot compete in a highly competitive world.”
– Francis Hesselbein
Another benefit of high engagement in the company is that employees tend to be more focused on the work that they are doing and they pay more attention to what are the things that are going on. This is because they care about the job that they are doing and the work that is being produced. This means, that the employees will be more mindful of their surroundings and their actions; going an extra mile to ensure that they perform their duties promptly while paying attention to meticulous details. When employees feel integrated in the company, they take pride in their work. They believe that just like the company, they too are a brand in themselves, hence; they check their own work, making sure that there are no human errors that were initially overlooked.
Due to this added attention to detail, the time spent in correctly rooky mistakes is avoided, making the work flow more efficient and the services of the company more effective. Engagement also tends to effect the levels of innovation in an organization. This translates into customers being catered to in a more productive manner, where any future issues are dealt with, processes are better streamlined and the overall productivity is increased.
Another great benefit of employee engagement is the ability to resolve conflicts. Wherever there are people, there are conflicts. However, people who are engaged in an organization, do not shy away from communication and they tend to make it a point to communicate even the slightest of inconvenience that they face or witness.
“Conflict can and should be handled constructively; when it is, relationships benefit. Conflict avoidance is *not* the hallmark of a good relationship. On the contrary, it is a symptom of serious problems and of poor communication.”
― Harriet B. Braiker
This is great for the company as it allows the team members to resolve concerns before they become full fledge issues. An open communication also makes the environment of the company healthy and helpful. This is essential for a company that wishes to maintain a positive environment is the office and keep the team spirit alive among the team members.
WHAT ISN’T MEANT BY EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
One thing to realize is that employee engagement does not refer to the happiness of the employees. A person might be happy at work but that does not necessarily mean that they are striving for excellence and being productive for the company. Although certain activities like company game rooms and parties are fun, and may be of some benefit for other reasons, it is not the same thing as making employees feel engaged.
It is not necessary that an engaged employee is also satisfied. An employee who is satisfied with the company and the work being done, might show up for work every single morning and complete their work without any complaints. However, this same employee may not be engaged enough to go an extra mile to see the company flourish and grow. Such an employee, although valuable, may leave the company as soon as they are offered a counter offer that surpassed their current pay and benefits in an organization. Being satisfied with the company is simply not enough. The drive and passion that is generated inside an employee due to an emotional commitment is what we can define as employee engagement. This commitment allows the employee to care about the company and their work with more zest. These engaged employees are not working merely for a paycheck, the benefits offered or the next promotion, as they could get that in any other company as well. These individuals work for the vision and the mission of the company. They believe in the same outcomes that the company believes in. They desire to achieve what the company is achieving and they wish to go where the company is headed.
According to Tower Perrin research, companies that have engaged employees on board have a 6% higher profit margin compared to companies with disengaged employees. Another research by Kenexa claims that the organizations that have employee engagement, have five folds higher shareholder returns over a course of five years. These researches are proof of the untapped potential that each employee holds if they become engaged in their workplaces and the amount of benefits this could bring for both, the individual and the company. These engaged employees use discretionary effort out of their own will and wish to make things happen; a satisfied employee may not. Which goes to show the magnitude of impact that engaged employees can make on a company.
S.T.A.R.S Corporation greatly values the importance of employee engagement. The company is always evaluating their regulations and SOPs to ensure that they support the positive mentality that the company wishes to achieve among they team members. There are no barriers in communication amongst the people at S.T.A.R.S Corporation and no issue is ever deemed insignificant for discussion. The S.T.A.R.S Corporation conducts many different activities and events that give rise to openness and promote a sense of belonging amongst the employees. The company is never shy to open doors of communication.
S.T.A.R.S Corporation makes it a point to discuss their vision and mission with their team members. The company pays heed to making sure that the entire team understands the direction of the company. The vision of the company sparks the inner patriotic of the team members, allowing them to strive for a goal that is bigger than themselves and even bigger than the company. The company believes that a united front can only be established if the company is one the same page, mentally. The team members at S.T.A.R.S Corporation are all driven by a sense of mutual growth and prosperity, where every single team member is thriving to reach the fullest of their potential by providing top notch quality work to the company that ultimately assists the organization to move towards its higher purpose.