The Benefits and Challenges of Employee Engagement

By Erika Rahman
Illustration of Carl the yeti laying in a hammock on a laptop with a plant next to him.

We are thrilled to partner with our friends at GaggleAMP to spread awareness about employee engagement and advocacy programs. GaggleAMP is an award-winning employee advocacy platform designed to help marketing, sales, and internal communications teams increase brand reach and employee engagement.

Organizations that make an effort to boost employee engagement are more successful than companies that don’t.

Having an engaged workforce leads to higher productivity amongst employees, which ultimately leads to higher profitability. Additionally, employee engagement leads to higher levels of employee retention because employees don’t feel an urge to look for a new job. The keys to improving your company’s engagement levels can be as simple as having a strong company culture.

image with text - companies with a highly engaged workforce have 17% higher productivity

A 2017 Gallup report on employee engagement shows that companies with a highly engaged workforce have 17% higher productivity than companies with a disengaged workforce. This leads to 21% higher profitability.

No surprise, right?!

People who are engaged at work take their job seriously. They are passionate about what they do and strive to do great work. For professionals to have this sense of passion for their jobs, sometimes they need to be recognized and acknowledged for their achievements and the hard work they do.

Not recognizing your employees leads to a lack of engagement, which leads to higher turnover rates. Over 21% of employees that don’t feel recognized for their work have recently interviewed for other jobs, compared to about 12% that do feel recognized, according to TINYpulse.

How Employee Engagement Works

Employee engagement is all about employees feeling a sense of pride in their work and a stronger connection to the organization they work for.

There are many factors that contribute to this.

One factor is having a strong understanding of where they fit in the company’s efforts to achieve its overall mission. If employees understand their jobs and how it leads to their company’s overall success, in addition to their own success, they’ll have a clearer picture of where they fit in and how what they do is important.

Another huge factor in employee engagement is acknowledgment. People feel engaged at work when they are recognized for the hard work they put in. If an employee feels they are doing a great job but are not being recognized or appreciated for it, they are less likely to be passionate about their job.

Lastly, improving employee engagement at your organization can be as simple as making your company a great place to work. This includes improving company culture, workplace communication, and building a sense of camaraderie among employees.

A company culture that includes open communication among employees and management allows employees to feel heard and valued at work.

image with text - Employees who feel their voices are being heard at their jobs are almost 5x more likely to feel empowered and perform their best work

Employees who feel their voices are being heard at their jobs are almost 5x more likely to feel empowered and perform their best work, according to a Salesforce report.

Employee Engagement Challenges

The benefits of employee engagement are great, but the challenge is not many companies make a point of focusing on employee engagement.

Just 36% of US professionals are engaged at work, according to a 2020 Gallup report.

Good news for you: we can only go up from here!

Many companies don’t make enough of an effort to improve their company culture and workplace communication. Some companies have office buildings with hundreds of cubicles on a single floor, but it’s as quiet as a library.

There are companies that don’t offer a collaborative environment where employees feel like they can ask a colleague or a manager for help or feedback on their work. These environments can lead to employees feeling siloed and out on an island with their tasks. Feeling comfortable talking to your colleagues and managers is just a small part of a strong culture.

Employee engagement took a hit when the pandemic drove professionals to work remotely. According to a survey from Doodle, over 38% of remote workers reported feeling exhausted after daily virtual meetings, while an additional 30% said they feel stressed.

Zoom fatigue is a real issue and can contribute to employee burnout. Additionally, working remotely makes it harder to collaborate with colleagues and managers, and it makes simple small interactions more difficult. Rather than casually walking by someone’s desk to talk about a project, you need to send a message or schedule a call and hope for a timely response.

What You Can Do To Encourage Employee Engagement

A great way to improve employee engagement is to allow your employees to feel heard.

Setting up routine check-ins between managers and employees is a great practice. Having networking events and activities also allows employees to connect without discussing spreadsheets.

A great way to measure employee engagement at your organization is to run surveys. Ask your employees if they like working at your organization if they feel appreciated, valued, heard, and more. You should include questions about how they feel about your company culture, and what they would like to see improved.

Boosting your employee engagement levels at your organization is all about improving company culture, making sure your employees feel valued and connected to your brand, and helping them feel included.

One way to cover all these bases is by incorporating an employee advocacy program in your workplace. A successful program allows your employees to feel included, acknowledged for their contributions and fosters stronger communications. And, it gives you some social media warriors on your side.

Employees can easily promote themselves and their brand on social media through a platform like GaggleAMP, and they can connect and engage with other employees and people in their industry. Through training and a platform that makes it easy, employees who are more social media savvy can make stronger connections and feel more valuable for their brand.