the importance of engagement

Employee engagement goes to the heart of the employer-employee relationship. At its best, it enables people to be the best they can be as involved, respected and valued contributors to their organisation’s success. Differences between the best and worst engaged organisations include 18% higher productivity, 40% lower employee turnover and 62% fewer accidents.

It’s a virtuous circle: engaged employees know their work affects their organisation’s goals and priorities in an environment that reinforces their values and beliefs. They know what’s expected of them (and why) and feel connected with other staff and parts of the organisation.

Research also suggests higher levels of employee engagement lead to more innovative work behaviour. Engaged employees are much more likely to search out new methods or techniques and transform innovative ideas into useful applications and cost savings. New ways of working that rely on discretionary effort willingly given (e.g. innovation, collaboration, joint problem solving) cannot thrive in environments where employees’ abilities are not valued or trusted.

A Gallup study shows that only around a quarter of Australian employees are engaged, while a Blessing White study found that employees of smaller Australian companies (less than 1,000 staff) are more likely to be engaged (40%) compared with those working for large organisations with 5,000–9,000 employees where only 27% are engaged.

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