Written by: Kelly Kurek, VP of Plan Management
If your business is trying to figure out how to improve employee engagement, you are not alone. Every year, millions of workers struggle to stay engaged at their jobs. This often results in lower job satisfaction for employees, as well as decreased productivity, profits, and retention rates for you (the employer).
Despite overwhelming evidence pointing to the benefits of enhanced employee engagement, many businesses forego efforts to improve engagement throughout their organizations. Whether it is the initial costs or simply a lack of faith in the ROI, many owners, managers, and C-Suite executives simply do not buy into the idea that employee engagement is an important issue to address.
Naturally, this brings about a number of important questions. First, what is employee engagement? How can it be measured? What are the real benefits of employee engagement? And finally, how can you improve employee engagement rates for your business?
Defining Engagement Among Employees
Looking more generally at the definition of engagement, it equates to terms like “participation” and “commitment.” Naturally, when put in the context of a workplace, this provides us with the basis for a definition of employee engagement. However, it goes a little farther than mere commitment or participation, as employee engagement must also account for the personal and emotional connection an employee feels toward their employer.
In other words, engaged employees need to trust that their employer has their best interests in mind and are therefore willing to put forth their best effort to help the organization at large. Consequently, here is a more useful and accurate definition of the term:
Employee Engagement Definition: The emotional commitment an employee has to their employer or organization.
When employees feel engaged, they care about the company and they do their best work to achieve the company’s goals. Their #1 objective is to contribute to the company’s success and be part of a successful business. In short, engaged employees most often recognize that they are contributing to larger organizational goals and are being cared for in the process.
Measuring Engagement Metrics
Looking at the terms above, it might seem difficult to measure employee engagement rates with any tangible metrics. For example, how does one measure “emotional commitment” to an organization? While measuring engagement from this angle may not be a viable option, there are several ways to measure engagement metrics from the back-end.
In addition to asking employees directly with engagement survey questions, you can also look at all of the following metrics to understand how well your employees are staying engaged at work:
- Frequency of absenteeism
- Retention Rates
- Employee satisfaction
- Productivity levels
5 Benefits of Enhanced Employee Engagement
Now that you have a better understanding of employee engagement and the metrics through which it can be measured, it is time to look at the real benefits of enhancing your employee engagement strategies:
Engaged employees are invested in their job and care about the success of their teams. Moreover, engaged employees are firmly committed to their organization’s mission and are going to work toward the bigger goals. This kind of engagement creates a reciprocal sense of benefit for both the employer and the employee, decreasing the likelihood that an employee will choose not to show up for their employer. In fact, a study from Gallup shows that highly engaged workplaces see 41% lower absenteeism. 
When employees cannot utilize their strengths, do not feel challenged, or do not enjoy their work (signs of low engagement), they are more likely to leave their current employer. Engaged employees have far fewer reasons to look elsewhere for work. As a result, employers who actively encourage and foster engagement will likely see a high ROI through the reduced costs of both hiring and training new employees.
Highly engaged organizations do not have to resort to high-stress behaviors in order to motivate employees. Instead, these organizations use practices such as employee recognition, comprehensive well-being benefits that focus on improving employees’ lives, and feedback to drive performance. The American Psychological Association (APA) estimates that more than $500 billion is lost every year due to workplace stress.  By utilizing these employee engagement strategies, your business can encourage a low-stress workplace, as well as a happier, healthier workforce.
Engaged employees far outperform their peers who are not engaged. On average, engaged employees are roughly 17% more productive.  It goes without saying that increasing productivity is a priority for most businesses, and it starts with individual employees. By fostering positive workplace practices that encourage high engagement, your business can also increase productivity across the entire organization.
While productivity and profitability often go hand in hand, one does not always guarantee the other. Fortunately, high employee engagement can help bolster both for your business. In fact, companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable, indicating that there is a direct correlation between engagement rates, productivity, and profitability.  Moreover, studies show that increasing employee engagement helps drive growth over both the short and long term, increasing the capacity for higher profits in the future. 
How to Improve Your Employee Engagement Rates
The hard data shows that enhanced employee engagement is not just vague office jargon to throw around the meeting room; it is a very real metric that your business can use to help foster a happier, more productive, and more profitable work environment. However, it is not always clear which employee engagement strategy will be most effective.
Fortunately, Mentoro offers multiple ways to improve work performance and employee engagement through our financial education services. Our customizable solutions leverage the best of both human and tech resources to help reduce financial stress and amplify employee performance. By providing unique educational resources to reduce financial stress, Mentoro gives businesses the ability to provide their employees with the tools they need to become more engaged at work.
If you are currently in the market for a financial education company or you want to learn more about the benefits of enhanced employee engagement, be sure to contact the experts at Mentoro today!