Employee engagement is the key to attaining a happy, loyal and productive workforce.

Whilst some companies are using employee engagement to help them gain a competitive advantage, only 24% of companies surveyed in a recent Harvard study said that they felt their employees were significantly engaged.

But what does employee engagement really mean? And how can you improve it?

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is best described as the extent to which employees are passionate about their work, dedicated to the company they work for and how much effort they put into their work.

Note that this is very different from employee satisfaction.

Some employees are very satisfied with their current position because they turn up, put in very little effort and get paid (very well in some cases) to do so.

Employee engagement is more concerned about getting the best out of an employee.

It focuses on aligning employees to company values, showing them that their contribution makes a real difference to the company, and increasing their levels of wellbeing and self-worth.

Why Is Employee Engagement Important?

Companies with high employee engagement outperform those with low engagement.

It can often be misconstrued as team-building activities, games and employee social events. But, whilst important, it’s more about creating an environment that an employee genuinely enjoys working in and therefore puts in more effort in return.

If your company has workplace wellness issues, or high rates of employee sickness, it’s likely that low employee engagement is partly to blame, particularly with respect to persistent absenteeism.  

By improving employee engagement rates, you can reduce detrimental influences on employees such as self-esteem or stress management issues, and increase productivity by increasing their sense of purpose.   

So how can you gauge exactly how an employee feels about your company as a place to work?

How is Employee Engagement Measured?

One of the best ways to measure employee engagement is with tools such as anonymous surveys.

Employer Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is an anonymous survey that will give you a basic outline of how an employee feels about working for your company and how likely they are to recommend it to their peers. 

It should help you to develop more of your own detailed surveys (must be anonymous to attain any meaningful results) that ask specifically about issues such as workplace inclusion, communication, recognition, and career development.

Once you have the necessary feedback you can begin to start implement changes that your employees feel are important and witness the consequent improvements in employee performance.

How Can You Improve Employee Engagement?

According the Harvard study, giving recognition and rewarding top-performing employees was the most effective way of increasing employee engagement.

This is because it motivates underachieving staff to emulate their successful colleagues and simultaneously encouraged top performers to ask more of themselves.

Another effective way of increasing employee engagement is to continually emphasise to employees how their role fits in with the overall business strategy.

If an employee can see how their daily contributions directly affect the performance of a business they are more likely to deliver increased output and commitment.

Finally, you can make a pledge to your employees in terms of their personal and career development. Employees love to learn and evolve. If they’ve been in the same role completing the same tasks over and over again, then engagement unsurprisingly drops off.

Get Help with Employee Engagement

Every employee benefits from participating in initiatives that increase engagement, and you as the company reap the rewards of a happier and more productive workforce in return.

We can work with you to develop an employee engagement platform for your company as part of our DocHQ wellness package.   

You could also combine the employee engagement platform with our wider wellness services, such as mental health assessments and physical health checks, to help spot early sickness symptoms in employees before it’s too late.

DocHQ Ltd is a Health Tech company improving choices. We help you connect efficiently to health support and advice whether you are at home, work or travelling. See our website for our services or call us on 0330 088 0645.