Engagement isn’t just another workplace buzzword. It is critical to the success of your business. Reaching high levels is crucial to both team nurture and maintenance because team engagement influences the productivity metrics of each individual member and the organization as a whole.
According to the Employee Engagement Trends and Forecasts for 2022 report, engaged teams are collaborative, efficient, and motivated to put forth a strong effort. Workers who feel valued by their peers and leadership, recognized for their contributions, and part of a shared purpose and community are more engaged with their fellow team members.
In this month’s edition of The Productivity Box, let’s dive into why team engagement is vital for work performance and, ultimately, business success.
The overall benefits of employee engagement
Gallup defines employee engagement as “the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.” As of 2021, they measured overall employee engagement in the United States at 36 percent. This low number indicates there’s much room for necessary improvement, as 74 percent of actively disengaged workers are in the process of looking for new jobs.
The mass transition to remote or hybrid work during these past two years makes it even harder for employees to connect with each other and bolster team engagement. However, there are many benefits for employees and business leaders alike who do invest in team engagement levels, Gallup’s data reveals.
In fact, more engagement leads to:
- 81 percent less absenteeism
- 58 percent fewer safety incidents
- 43 percent lower turnover rates
- 23 percent increased profitability
- 18 percent higher productivity
- 10 percent more customer satisfaction
Influences work performance
An engaged worker is an active contributor and high performer—it’s just that simple. So to build successful engagement on a team, focus on personal engagement levels first. An engaged employee has six main qualities that, when combined, elevate their work performance, says Victor Lipman, author of The Type B Manager:
- An emotional commitment to the organization
- A positive, can-do attitude in their daily work
- An willingness and tenacity to go the extra mile
- An adaptable and collaborative team player
- A consistently responsible and reliable output
- An easy, low-maintenance employee to manage
Employees who exhibit these characteristics of engagement outperform their counterparts to consistently produce high-quality deliverables. But the workplace culture must be conducive to strong employee engagement. In fact, a recent study from GLINT has some astonishing results. 40 percent of employees would put forth more effort if they were more satisfied in their roles. And this is where the collaboration aspect of engagement comes in.
Impacts team collaboration
When you have a culture of engagement that goes deeper than just individual performance, teamwork can flourish. The inverse is also true, with engagement declining when employees are less connected.
This is because, without a sense of cohesion and camaraderie to unite them, employees can start to feel siloed. Over time, this leads to a lack of connection to the company’s mission and less commitment to a productive work ethic. On the other hand, strong relationships and collaboration create that connection, which in turn fuels productivity.
Let’s think about it in a simple IF/THEN statement–I know, living among software engineers for the past 20 years has taken its toll 😀
- Care about the overall business
- Find continual satisfaction in your work
- Have robust connections with your colleagues
THEN it’s easier to
- Operate as a team
- Accomplish shared goals
And in time, this boosts individual, team, and organizational productivity across the board.
Enables company success
Solid team engagement ultimately drives both the internal health and external success of your entire organization. Now let’s circle back to the Gallup statistic referenced earlier. Companies with strong levels of engagement are 23 percent more profitable. When you take the time to invest in employee satisfaction and team connection, the results pay off.
According to research in Harvard Business Review, here are five actions that engaged teams will take to promote organizational success:
- They communicate with their co-workers over the phone to strengthen interpersonal relations. This enables them to cut down on misunderstandings.
- They run team meetings in more timely and efficient manner. A clear predetermined agenda and a check-in to report each member’s progress are used.
- They create opportunities for the water cooler talk. Having non-work conversation topics helps bonding over mutual interests, reinforce social connections, and form genuine friendships.
- They receive consistent appreciation from both their peers and managers. And they are quick to show others that same appreciation in return.
- They are not afraid to express a full range of emotions on the job, which helps build a work culture of authenticity and psychological safety.
A high-performance workplace that yields optimal business results starts with engagement. Don’t overlook this key factor when building a company culture. From individual projects to collaborative goals, a business that values team engagement is more likely to thrive in the long term.
And like with all the other tweaks we discover every month when getting out of The Productivity Box, this too has a big potential to boost work performance. For you, your team, and for your entire organization. Put it to good use!