Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What is Employee Engagement?

With the recent publication of our Amazon Best Seller, “The Engaged Manager: Make your team a success, and they’ll make you a success”, we’ve had a lot of questions about the importance of employee engagement and the role that an engaged manager plays in the organization.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the concept of Employee Engagement, the simple definition is, “the level of personal and professional commitment an individual has to the values and mission of the organization.” In other words, as an employee, how much do I believe in what we are doing and how far am I willing to go to ensure our success. An engaged employee believes in and is excited by the mission and values of the organization. And their commitment to the mission and values of the organization manifests itself on a daily basis through improved productivity, decreased absenteeism, and improved customer service and satisfaction.

There has been a significant amount of statistical analysis on employee engagement over the last 10 years. One recent study done by Hewitt Associates found that high-engagement firms had a total shareholder return that was 19% higher than average. Likewise, a company with low-engagement actually had a total shareholder return that was 44% below average.

Watson Wyatt reported that organizations with a high level of employee engagement out performed low engagement organizations by numbers ranging from 47% to 200%. These are just 2 examples gleaned from recent reports on employee engagement. New material is being released on a monthly basis by a variety of firms involved in statistical analysis that further enhance and refine these numbers. Clearly there is a statistical correlation between highly engaged employees and improved productivity.

But, there is also a correlation between employee engagement and customer satisfaction. And my guess is that you have experienced that situation first hand and don’t need any data analysis to prove it to you.

What am I talking about?

We’ve all had the experience in a store, an office, or over the phone where we have encountered an employee who was disengaged from the job and company. They were clearly bored with what they were doing, it was clear that our question or phone call had deeply disturbed their ongoing process of doing nothing, and they really didn’t know or care how they might be of service to us as a customer. Whether their management wants to acknowledge it or not, this person is highly disengaged from their job but is also our primary contact into their organization. What we think about this company is directly impacted by our contact by this employee, yet here they are bored to tears, doing anything but working, and fundamentally chasing customers away.

And the question becomes, why are they working there? Why hasn’t the management replaced them with someone more competent and enthusiastic? And what would it take for me to want to do business with this company again?

We will talk more about these topics in upcoming entries.

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
•Your Company Culture
•The Leadership Styles of your key managers
•The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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