Improving Employee Engagement
Engaged employees generate 43% more
The MacLeod Report, 'Engaging for Success', was the most comprehensive study ever commissioned on the subject of employee engagement. The report established a clear link between improved employee engagement and improved organisational performance, with some striking headline findings:
- Engaged employees generate 43% more revenue than disengaged ones.
- An organisation with highly engaged employees achieves financial performance four times greater than an organisation with poor engagement.
- Organisations with engagement scores in the top quartile averaged 12% higher customer advocacy, 18% higher productivity and 12% higher profitability.
- Engaged employees in the UK take an average of 2.69 sick days per year versus 6.19 for the disengaged.
- Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organisation than the disengaged.
4 steps to increasing employee engagement
There are many drivers of engagement which vary from person to person. Over the course of the last 2 decades, Quo have grouped these drivers of engagement into 4 key areas:
1 - "KNOW ME"
Prior to exploring ways of increasing a person's engagement, an understanding is required of what makes the person tick as an individual. This includes an insight into their strengths and weaknesses, what triggers their best performance, what they personally find reinforcing, their goals and learning styles. Once an accurate view of an individual is established, their engagement can be effectively influenced in a way that is impactful for them.
2- "FOCUS ME"
A person needs to know what is expected of them to achieve the required level of performance. This goes well beyond a job description or briefing. Pinpointing successful behaviours (things that high performing people say and do) and conveying these in a manner which resonates with the individual is key. Delivering successful behaviours in a way that makes the task more rewarding, enjoyable and easier to achieve have a major impact on engagement.
3 - "CARE FOR ME"
With a knowledge of the individual ("KNOW ME") in place, it is possible to positively impact the things which are important to them as part of every day interactions. The effective application of consequences (things which happen to a person after delivering a behaviour) accounts for around 30% of their engagement. The regular use of positive reinforcement (where the consequence gives the person what they want) is critical in achieving a high engagement / high performance culture.
4 - "DEVELOP ME"
Helping the individual to become better at what they do, to deliver higher performance and to achieve personal and career goals is key to sustaining high engagement. The use of effective coaching and feedback are crucial tools which sometimes get overlooked once an individual is performing at a high level. The most successful sports people in the world spend a large part of their time developing their skills further and this is a trait which applies to highly engaged people in all walks of life.
The crucial role of line managers
According to a report published by Accenture, 80% of the variation in employee engagement levels is down to the impact created (positively or negatively) by line managers. Gallup further highlighted this theme when it's Manager Journal survey indicated that 75% of employees cited their immediate line manager as the most stressful aspect of their job...with 25% being happy to fire their boss if they could!
The experience of high engagement organisations such as Starbucks, Bupa and Royal London Group is that line managers are the key role holders when it comes to influencing the key drivers of engagement. Consequently, the development of people management, behavioural change capabilities and a knowledge of engagement are becoming must have skills for managers in all industries today.
The impact of creating high engagement
- A leading European technology business increased employee engagement from a score of 40 points to 82 points in the space of a single year by equipping managers with enhanced people and engagement skills.
- Sickness absence was cut by 75% within 6 months at a major UK based contact centre after its 150 line managers went through a behavioural change intervention.
- A global professional services firm increased profit per consultant head by 105% after team managers in 6 countries were upskilled in key engagement skills.
- Staff turnover was reduced by 85% across 15 countries when a global retail bank equipped 800 customer advocates with behavioural change and engagement skills.
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