Benefits of Engaged Workers on the Frontline
Employee engagement relates to the level of an employee’s commitment and connection to an organisation.
The past few years have been difficult and unpredictable for the world economy and there have been many changes in the interactions between employees and employers. Notably, companies are now concerned with creating environments that encourage engaged workers in an effort to maintain or develop a competitive advantage in the market.
By strengthening commitment to their purpose and giving staff a stronger sense of their organisation’s goals, business leaders are seeking to foster an internal culture where employees feel valued, engaged, and supported.
As a result, some characteristics that engaged workers begin to display include the following:
- Willingness to take on leadership roles
- Focus on open and clear communication
- Willingness to collaborate
- Actively pursuing opportunities
- Adapt easily to change
Organisations find that their workplaces are happier, more unified, and more profitable when employees are engaged, additionally allowing businesses to not only achieve but exceed goals.
What are Dis-Engaged Workers?
Actively disengaged workers complain about unpleasant work situations and are typically poorly managed.
An employee’s level of engagement is seen as a general measure of their level of motivation at work. While it is true that the quality of an employee’s work can be linked to their own talents and internal motivation, environments in which employees are disengaged can inhibit even the most enthusiastic worker.
Characteristics that are most commonly observed in disengaged workers include a lack of passion, a generally negative attitude, absenteeism and frequent usage of social media or other distractions during business hours.
Disengaged employees are also not interested in solving problems and making progress.
Additionally, in contrast to engaged workers, disengaged staff might communicate poorly with management and co-workers, fail to assume responsibility, and display no interest in opportunities to further develop their skills. When working on collaborative projects, they might not take part in conducting important tasks and seem indifferent to their work.
The Pandemic’s Impact
The pandemic greatly influenced the working world, bringing about several key problems and very quickly turning ‘normal’ upside down.
While many businesses were eager for employees to return to the workplace, working remotely (formerly thought to be a temporary circumstance), is still desirable for many employees.
Given that remote work is becoming more accepted by the day, it is crucial for organisations to take into account how it will affect employee engagement. Leadership must ensure that staff members and managers have the knowledge, skills, and capacities to interact with the business, teams, and one another in these new environments.
Studies show organisations must seek to include employees in the following areas:
- Discussions about the company’s future
- The introduction of skills development policies
- ‘Customised practices’ which focus on ‘flexibility and inclusivity’
The Importance of Engaged Workers
Business leaders acknowledge that the primary benefit to boosted employee engagement is how it helps to combat burnout, fatigue and otherwise improve general mental health for staff. This is important to maintain, as many employees can be left feeling ‘isolated and unnoticed’, especially in a post-pandemic work environment.
Benefits of Encouraging Engaged Workers
Engaged workers are aware of the impact and contribution their work performance has on the goals, mission, and vision of the company.
Organisations looking to make their workplaces more unified, more engaged and ultimately more profitable should be focus on two key aspects of their working environment. Namely:
- Employee-Oriented Culture
Having a work environment that promotes communication and collaboration goes a long way in ensuring that staff do not feel isolated or forgotten, even when active in remote situations.
- Opportunities & Growth
Encouraging employees to actively pursue opportunities allows organisations to retain more staff, as companies where career growth is stagnant often suffer from high turnover. Companies also need to be alert to ensure growth opportunities cater for both onsite and remote workers.
Other Benefits of Engaged Workers
Outside of the aforementioned benefits to staff retention, additional advantages of an engaged employee base include increased communication across the board, as staff are more open to discussing ideas, problems and solutions.
Furthermore, many are willing to take on leadership roles, even in an unofficial capacity, due to their connection to the organisation. This additionally lends itself to higher productivity levels, as employees are more motivated to perform their duties – this also ties to higher customer satisfaction and a lower rate of absent or sick staff.
Over the past few years, more organisations have learned to value the advantages of employee engagement. It is crucial for employers to be aware of not only its benefits but also the causes of disengaged workers, as it has grown to be essential for customer service, employee productivity and long-term business success.
To promote meaningful employee engagement within your organisation, talk to an expert.