Organizations who have made frontline employee engagement a strategic priority are reaping the rewards.
According to Gallup, organizations in the top quartile of worker engagement realize 21% greater profitability than their peers in the bottom quartile. And, they deal with a lot fewer headaches—41% less absenteeism, 24% lower turnover, 28% less shrinkage, and 70% fewer employee safety incidents.
Yet nationwide, only 33% of employees are “engaged”—meaning they are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace. The other 67% are either “disengaged,” meaning they are doing just enough to stay employed, or are “actively disengaged," where they are actively working against the goals of the organization. Only about one in five say their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. Gallup has been measuring engagement consistently since 2000, and unfortunately the numbers have rarely changed.
What’s most perplexing about the state of employee engagement levels is that having a higher percentage of engaged employees is a choice available to every organization. However, it’s a choice that requires a strategic commitment from top leaders with aligned execution through all levels of the organization. Organizations in Gallup’s top quartile are a good example of what’s possible. Instead of having just one-third of employees “engaged”, they have engagement levels exceeding 70%. And, just to re-emphasize the point from above—these organizations realize 21% greater profitability than their peers in the bottom quartile of engagement1.
There are some common threads that run through the organizations in Gallup’s Top Quartile; three things in particular stand out:
They make frontline employee engagement a core business strategy. They regard employee engagement as a primary source of their competitive advantage, viewing the commitment and extra effort of engaged employees as a key differentiator and enabler in their ability to carry out their mission and achieve their business goals. Employee engagement is a key metric on the company scorecard.Organizational alignment
They place an unwavering focus on front line employee engagement starting with senior leadership and cascading down through each level of the organization. These organizations set the stage for managers to drive engagement at the front line level by carrying out four sets of actions:
- Aligning the organization around an inspiring vision, mission and core values;
- Building pride in the organization and trust in leadership through frequent and transparent communications;
- Selecting and developing managers who are capable of building trusting relationships and engaging others;
- Measuring employee engagement and providing feedback to managers for continuous improvement.
Finally, organizations in Gallup’s Top Quartile recognize that frontline employee engagement is driven by the employee experience, which determines how valued and connected employees feel. Frontline managers directly impact the employee experience by their day-to-day actions in appreciating, connecting and coaching their employees.. These organizations have made it a priority to provide managers with the needed feedback and support to effectively carry out these actions and, in doing so, create the conditions for a positive employee experience,which leads to higher engagement and greater profitability.
At goHappy, increasing frontline employee engagement is what we do. If you’d like to chat about your engagement strategy or need help getting an employee communications or surveying system in place in order to boost engagement, we hope you’ll reach out.