Employee Engagement

Poor employee engagement costs businesses R6.6 billion every year

poor employee engagement

Poor employee engagement can sink your business! Read all about it! Hey, sorry about that hectic title there  - you know we prefer to keep things positive over here, but sometimes you just have to make a bit of a fuss to draw attention to the important stuff.

Something along the lines of ‘if you keep supporting erosive farming practices the price of avos will go up by another R9!’, or ‘if you don’t vote, Pieter Dirk Uys will end up as the premier of the Western Cape!’. Just to stir things up a bit, you know? (FYI, that bit about the avos is not inaccurate - check where you buy from . Also, Aunty Evita might be exactly what we need to whip the whole team into shape. But we digress.)

Let’s spin it around...

By now we all know that employers and employees have a shared responsibility to promote the overall well-being of a workforce. In 2019, we no longer spruce up the canteen or host a touch-rugby tournament, tick off ‘engagement’ on our to-do list and pat ourselves on the back for this discretionary effort.  We realise that the true drivers of engagement are far more subtle and complex than that, and that we have to measure employee engagement consistently so we are able to tailor solutions for a particular enterprise. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation by a long shot.

Wondering how you can boost employee engagement at your place of work? We’ve written quite a bit about it. Go have a read here, here and here. You might also want to check out this handy reference (it’s a winner!).

In the meantime, we’ll be over here, sharing a few amazing ways in which highly engaged, high performing employees drive champagne-popping, streamer-throwing business outcomes. Here goes!

Here's how healthy employee engagement is able to boost your bottom line:


Safer work environment

So, in essence, employee engagement refers to the perceived level of connection between employees, their superiors and their place of work, right? This connection to the workplace itself is actually a bigger deal than you may think. When workers feel secure in their positions and have been provided with all the tools they need to get the job done efficiently, fewer safety incidents occur. Here are some stats to back up this claim. There are various reasons for this, but the most important one is quite simply that employees who don't feel the need to pander to their bosses or play up to the gallery to stay ahead in the pecking order actually have time to focus on their jobs - the real, actual task at hand rather than a bunch of politics.


Improved health

Burnout is a real thing. Employee engagement, on the other hand, is the antithesis to burnout. Here’s some heavy academic research into it if you want to learn more about it. When employees are happy and secure in their jobs, they also tend to be healthier. There are a whole bunch of variables at play here, naturally (every person has a unique lifestyle, genetic makeup, diet, exercise regime, etc.) but it boils down to working in an environment where health is seen as a priority. This can manifest in many different ways - from sponsored gym memberships, to healthy snacks, standing desks, incentives to participate in races, etc. When employees are healthy, they function optimally and are able to deliver their best work, which equals a boosted bottom line...


Happier vibes (at home and the office)

In a working environment where employee engagement is a priority, there is no need to keep a sword of termination or high stress behaviour like peer pressure hanging over people's heads to inspire them to perform. This is what recognition and frequent feedback is for! Happy working environments like these also make for a great work-life balance, which spills over into the home life of employees. Think about it this way - a person who has a nice, inspiring day at work and isn’t required to work until the wee hours to show their dedication goes home with a positive attitude, doesn't have any reason to moan their spouse's ear off and has the opportunity to enjoy some quality time with their family. This happy home vibe leads to a restful night's sleep, a Kellogs-ad morning and a sparkly can-do attitude at work. Full circle much?  

You can read more here 👉Employee Recognition: The ultimate kickstart for a great company culture


Fewer sickies and needless absences

We’ve mentioned health already, but we all know that a sickie has very little to do with actual medical complaints. A sickie is something that occurs when someone is so disengaged at work that they cannot actually motivate themselves to make the effort to pitch up. This is a very sad state of affairs and a clear-cut sign that an employee is not in a position to thrive at your business. When someone is swept up, motivated and woven into the fabric of a dynamic team, showing up is not an issue - they're so committed to the success of the organisation that they won't even think about compromising it with a needless absence. On the other hand, taking an occasional planned day off is actually a sign of positive employee engagement. When a person is secure enough in their role to use their leave days without getting all twisted into knots, it is a good thing.


Better talent retention

Your bottom line is tied directly to the talent of your workforce, this much we know. Skilled, focussed employees are the lifeblood of any high-functioning enterprise. The thing is, these same employees are confident in their abilities and they know they are in demand. As such, they don’t stick around because they’re afraid - they stick around because they want to. This is where employee engagement comes in. If you want top talent to remain at your company, it has to be a good place to work. Often all it takes is an open line of communication - ask your employees what they need to get their jobs done to the best of their ability, and provide it. When you create a space in which each individual has the opportunity to upskill and grow, talent retention will never be a problem. What was it that Richard Branson so famously said - Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to!


Epic customer service and sustainable profitability

When employee engagement is at an optimal level, your employees are able to provide good customer/client service. Happy, healthy, secure, well-equipped humans are those rare marvels who take the time to treat each customer as an individual and provide tailor-made solutions that speak directly to their paint points. Better service leads to higher customer satisfaction, which leads to increased sales, higher turnover levels and better shareholder returns, which (you guessed it!) equals sustainable profitability. When you look at things this way, it becomes quite obvious that you need to start with the happiness of your employees if you wish to boost your bottom line in the long run.  

Good stuff, right?

After all, what business would not thrive if it boasts a safe work environment, healthy (and happy!) employees, super satisfaction levels, excellent employee retention, and unbeatable stock prices due to sky-high levels of profitability, sales and overall productivity? That right there is #BusinessGoals, folks!

Take a look at our SaaS-based employee recognition platform it helps businesses to retain their top talent and keep employee engagement top of mind all day, err-day. It’s a tool that has been designed with SA businesses in mind and we’ll let you take it for a spin for mahala👇

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