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Employee Engagement Is Rising. Is Yours?

Posted by Leslie Ruhland on Feb 6, 2020 10:08:12 AM
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As a business owner or HR manager, you know that employee engagement is important. But do you know if your employees are truly engaged?



A recent poll conducted by the Gallup organization found that employee engagement nation-wide as gone up significantly as of last year. 

We've explored this issue in previous articles and the consensus among hr and business experts is that having engaged employees is one of the major factors in business growth and success. However, it is also true that, generally speaking, employee engagement is not that pervasive in most companies. 

What Does Employee Engagement Mean?

A quick online search can bring up millions of references to "What is employee engagement?", and the truth is that it can be treated as just another corporate "buzzword." But the other side of this reality is that the lack of engaged employees is measurably detrimental to an organization.

The good news is that, according to Gallup, the situation appears to be improving. 

Their 2019 survey, which they have undertaken annually since 2000, revealed that employee engagement is on the rise.

"Gallup found that in 2019, the percentage of "engaged" workers in the U.S. -- those who are highly involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace -- reached 35%. This is a new high since Gallup began tracking the metric in 2000."

While that's good news for the workplace generally, there is obviously much room for improvement.

So, what is employee engagement? According to SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, 

"The term employee engagement relates to the level of an employee's commitment and connection to an organization. Employee engagement has emerged as a critical driver of business success in today's competitive marketplace. High levels of engagement promote retention of talent, foster customer loyalty and improve organizational performance and stakeholder value."

Of course, this doesn't quite describe how engaged employees show up differently than their peers. But a simple description is provided by Gallup,

"Employee engagement is determined by factors such as feeling clear about your role, having the opportunity to do what you do best, having opportunities at work to develop, enjoying strong coworker relationships and working with a common mission or purpose."


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The State of Your Employees

Intuitively, most business owners and managers know and understand that engaged employees are both preferable to those who are non-engaged and contribute to the heath and success of the organization.

Highly engaged employees tend to:

  • Produce substantially better outcomes
  • Treat customers better and attract new ones
  • Are more likely to remain with their organization than those who are less engaged
  • Are healthier and less likely to experience burnout

If you were to assume that your company was on par with the new national average measured by the Gallup survey, this still means that 65 percent of your employees are not engaged.

So, what can be done to improve this?

One of the other major findings in the Gallup survey is that changes in employee engagement are best attributed to changes in how organizations develop employees. They also found that organizations with substantial improvement over the years, some growing from less than 20 percent engagement to over 70 percent, had focused on creating high-development cultures.


Gallup defines a high-development culture as one where people can see their impact on the company and its customers through their work, and they have opportunities to develop their strengths and purpose into a career.

This shows up in a number of key ways:

  • High-development cultures are CEO- and board-initiated.
  • High-development cultures educate managers on new ways of managing -- moving from a culture of "boss" to "coach."
  • High-development cultures practice company-wide communication.
  • High-development cultures hold managers accountable. 

In other words, developing and fostering engaged employees is an intentional undertaking that begins at the CEO-level and involves everyone in the organization. 

Want to learn more about workforce management? Get out our free guide

Help In Boosting Your Company's Development

In addition to a growing and demanding role in recruiting, hiring, and continually training employees, the HR staff is responsible for other functions such as payroll management, tax filings, employee records compliance, and so forth.

Considering alternatives such as outsourcing is increasingly becoming a cost-effective and strategic option. Accuchex can help you in managing your HR needs, payroll processes, and staying on top of compliance demands. Get your Free Download: Payroll Outsourcing Guide to help you make an informed decision or call Accuchex Payroll Management Services at 877-422-2824.


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Topics: HR best practices, workforce management, company culture, employee engagement, employee retention

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