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Engaged employees provide better rates of success

Date posted:  3/26/15 11:15:00 AM Happy employees lead business to profitability.

Strong employee engagement can be directly linked to a company's success, according to research conducted by Gallup in 2012, which examined 1.4 million employees spanning 49 industries and 34 countries.

 The report stated that even during trying economic times, engagement is crucial for organizations. It can provide a major success boost, including revenue and overall well-being.

Companies in the top half of employee engagement have nearly twice the success rate of those in the bottom half.

Businesses in the 99th percentile have nearly four times the success rate as those on the opposite end of the spectrum, in the first percentile.

"People want to come to work, understand their jobs, and know how their work contributes to the success of the organization," John Baldoni, chair of leadership development consultancy N2Growth, told Business 2 Community. Baldoni stated that keeping employees engaged is very important to a high retention rate.

The Gallup poll backs his statement
Comparing the top performing companies in employee engagement to those with lacking efforts, the top-quartiles have 48 percent fewer safety incidents, 37 percent lower absenteeism, 21 percent higher productivity and 22 percent higher profitability.

They also have 25 percent less turnover in high-turnover industries and 65 percent less turnover in sectors with lower turnover rates.

Not as happy in the work environment
Statistics show that a growing number of people aren't as happy in the work environment as they once were. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employee job satisfaction has fallen in recent years and less people are content with where they are. In 2009, 86 percent of U.S. employees claimed they were satisfied with their jobs. In 2012, that fell to 81 percent.

That number isn't likely to drop anytime soon, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. The nation's turnover rate is likely to surge as prospective workers consider the job market as more welcoming to job seekers, which would cause more people to jump from company to company.

Baldoni said that when employees aren't engaged and don't know how their work helps their company, workers have trouble relating to a company. This decreases productivity while it increases the likelihood that an employee will leave for greener pastures.

Keeping employees engaged
Don Rheem, a founding partner of the consulting firm Engagient, has offered advice to a slew of CEOs around the globe. Rheem believes that engagement is key to success, and what fuels that is a strong company culture.

"Culture is a social ecosystem - it's rarely in a perfect state," Rheem said. "It's either thriving or it's in the hands of the gossipers and the rumormongers and the cynics and the grudge collectors."

What's the difference between an engaged or unengaged employee?
According to Rheem, an engaged employee will provide additional voluntary effort. While an unhappy worker will complete the bare minimum of his or her work, an engaged employee will go above and beyond the call of duty to complete the work.

"We're trying to create a work environment where employees see their own progress in the company's progress," Rheem said, "where it's not just a career but 'a place I go to find meaning and purpose in my life.'"

Rheem said that companies with downward trends in employment engagement tend to have a harder time achieving success, customer loyalty, profitability and overall wellness of its employees. Improved pay, better benefits and company perks are a few items employees look for in order to remain fulfilled in their positions.