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Employee Engagement 7 HR Software Solutions To Improve Employee Engagement

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Employee engagement is one of those perennial HR objectives that remains elusive to most organizations. The upside of engaged employees is clear — increased labor productivity and employee retention that flows right to the bottom line. However, the road to success is littered with unsuccessful attempts and on average, only about one-fourth of employees are engaged at any point in time.

This HR White Paper shares seven employee engagement strategies that organizations can use to enhance engagement through technology. But first, let's set the context with some frequently asked questions to make sure everyone begins with the same assumptions.

What is Employee Engagement?

Countless theories and definitions have been espoused over the years about what employee engagement is or should be. With no consensus definition, it may be most helpful to simply settle in on those criteria that are the most influential and agreed upon:

  • Engagement is about attitude – staff that are fully engaged truly want to be a part of, and are committed to, their employer
  • Engagement is about effort – staff that are fully engaged show initiative, put forth greater effort, and contribute to the organizational beyond their performance objectives
  • Engagement is about willingness – staff that are fully engaged willingly act as company advocates and actively promote the organization to current and potential customers and employees, and
  • Engagement can be influenced by a host of factors

Employee engagement directly impacts everything from company brand to business performance. In fact, a recent study conducted by Gallup, the leading research company for engagement studies, reported that employers that do not invest in employee engagement have only a 17 percent chance of financially performing above industry averages.

What is the Organizational Impact of Engagement?

Aside from the overarching financial statistic above, numerous research studies demonstrate that employee engagement is integral to the organization's bottom-line. Indeed, the Confederation for British Industry (CBI) recently found that employee engagement is "the biggest challenge facing employers"—highlighting that nearly 75% of all organizations have engagement as a top business priority. This is due in large part to the ratio of engaged; non-engaged; and disengaged employees—which in a recent Gallup study was 24%; 51%; 25% respectively.

Given that engaged employees out-pace and out-perform their peers by as much as 20% and are 87% less likely to voluntarily turnover than their non-engaged or disengaged counterparts (according to the Corporate Leadership Council), employers are starting earlier with on-boarding and other practices as a way to preemptively net as many engaged staff as possible. Unfortunately, it appears as though efforts aren't nearly as strident for existing employees. Given the research statistics, it's evident that far too many organizations are still not understanding the flip-side of the engagement — which is disengagement.

Staff that are disengaged are not just unhappy on the job; they are passionate about how much they don't like their work. If you take the points made earlier about engagement criteria, but put a negative instead of a positive descriptor on them, you get closer to the true nature and danger of a disengaged employee. For example:

  • Attitude – staff that are disengaged have bad attitudes and let those bad attitudes be known
  • Effort – staff that are disengaged put forth effort to undermine other employees and hinder organizational progress; and
  • Willingness – staff that are disengaged willingly act as company detractors and actively discredit the organization to current and potential customers and employees

If those descriptors are not bad enough, Gallup researchers (through a study of more than 40,000 employees) determined that those disengaged staff (which keep in mind only make up about 25% of your workforce) are costing U.S. businesses alone over $345B annually. Couple these statistics with the fact that disengaged staff are actively trying to influence the non-engaged, neutral employees (51% of your workforce), and the imminence of the threat should become evident.

All of this research and information adds up to an undeniable conclusion, staff engagement is tantamount to business success and organizations should be doing everything within their power to both engage employees from the onset and maintain or re-engage those that are already here. Fortunately, HR software technology is an incredible conduit, and as such, here are the 7 strategies that you can use to boost employee engagement.

Next: 7 Employee Engagement Strategies >>

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Research shows that the ratio of engaged, non-engaged and disengaged employees is 24%, 51% and 25% respectively.


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