Engagement or disengagement?! I spent hours filling out the form and never heard anything back. Nothing changed...
Anonymous employee - ASX listed Company
Organisations invest heavily in engagement, but what are they really getting in return? There is no denying that engagement has a positive effect on the individuals that experience it as well as the organisation more broadly. Organisations with high levels of engagement subsequently have increased levels of:
- Performance: e.g. Companies with highly engaged employees experienced 26% higher employee productivity (Irvin, 2009). Organisations with higher engagement levels on average outperformed other organisations by 17% in terms of operating margin (Stairs, 2005).
- Employee well-being: positive health outcomes as well as lower depressive symptoms, somatic complaints and sleep disturbances (Saks, 2006). Whereas disengaged employees are more prone to negative health outcomes and burnout (Maslach, Schaufeli & Leiter, 2001). This in turn reduces the likelihood of absenteeism or presenteeism (employees that are at work but are not focused).
- Retention: e.g. High engagement levels lead to an 87% decrease in stated desire to leave (Stairs, 2005). Turnover, particularly in a tight labour market, costs organisations significantly.
Clearly, engagement has significant benefits to both the individual and organisation, and it is therefore understandable why organisations want to enhance engagement. The paradox of engagement tools however, is that they are actually disengaging and fail to identify the drivers that actually influence engagement. The common issues with engagement surveys fall in to three areas:Content, Process and Actions.