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Key Factors That Affect Employee Engagement


Employee engagement affects all aspects of business. A single disengaged employee can cost the company up to 34% of their salary, and the estimated collective cost of employee disengagement is about $350 billion for a single year

And yet, only 20% of the workforce is engaged. While companies may think that a bigger paycheck will solve the problem, in the modern workforce, it takes more than just compensation to keep employees engaged. Organizations need to take action to engage their employees. In this article, we cover the latest statistics and employee engagement trends.  

1) Link between training and development programs and employee engagement

Training and development programs have gained more traction over the last several years. Employees want to succeed in their roles and need sufficient training to do so. A top driving force for employee engagement is training and development programs according to many surveys. 

  • A recent study by McKinsey found that 41% of people that left their job cited lack of career development and advancement.  
  • A study by Gallup found that a whopping 87% of Millennials say that professional development and career growth are significant to them. 
  • The 2021 Talent Index, which surveyed 5,000 U.S. and UK workers, found 83% of employees think their company should help with career progression.
  • The American Upskilling Study by Gallup in which 61% of workers polled said upskilling is extremely or very important when weighing the decision to remain at their current job. 57% indicated they are extremely or very interested in participating in an upskilling program with 63% of those saying they are motivated to do so to advance their careers

Employees want opportunities to grow and develop. 

2) Managers affect employee engagement 

Managers have a big role in employee engagement. A study by Gallup found that managers account for 70% of variance in employee engagement! Each team and employee are different. It is the manager’s job to understand the management style that works for their employees. For example, do employees want weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly 1:1s with their managers? Do employees thrive on more autonomy? Do employees want more feedback? Managers should be proactive in setting expectations around these questions with their employees clearly.

3) Providing a healthy work-life balance and flexible work options increases employee engagement 

A healthy work-life balance is a must in this modern workforce, and its correlation on employee engagement is surprising. 85% of companies that offer work-life balance and flexible work options for their employees report an increase in productivity, have 25% less employee turnover, and likely less burnout occurs. 

Providing flexible work options is a great way to give employees autonomy. In a survey conducted by Airtasker, remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year, than office workers. When office workers were surveyed, they claimed an average of 37 minutes each workday not getting work done, remote employees only lost 27 minutes of each workday to distractions. While these numbers may fluctuate, it is telling that encouraging your employees to come into the office may seem like the best thing for productivity, but giving employees the option between remote or office work may produce better results on productivity and engagement than some may have expected. 

4) Employees need feedback to be engaged 

Employees want more feedback. Not only does feedback give insight into how employees are performing, it can actually make them more engaged in their work. 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week, compared to only 18% of employees with low engagement. Providing employees with feedback can actually increase how long employees stay at your company as companies that implement regular employee feedback have 14.9% lower turnover rates. 

If your company has not embraced a culture of feedback, start small. Encourage managers to give employees feedback once or twice a month to increase employee engagement. 

Having engaged employees can make or break an organization. Put in the effort to make sure that employees are happy, motivated, and engaged.

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