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Employee Engagement: Explained

May 20, 2015

What is employee engagement? Why is it important? And how can employee engagement levels be raised in an organization?

What is ‘Employee Engagement’?

At BI WORLDWIDE Canada, we describe employee engagement as an equal balance between two factors:

1. The investment employers need to make in their employees

What are the investments you, as an employer, need to make in your employees to help them be engaged in their work?

2. The intensity in which employees perform their job

Intensity is present when employees are both performing intensely, and are intensely committed to their work.

Without one of these factors present, true employee engagement can’t exist.

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

When analyzing the trends found from a recent (2014) survey BI WORLDWIDE conducted, between the employees’ engagement level in correlation with revenue trends, employees, in every case report better business outcomes when they are engaged.  

The purpose of the survey was to gain an insight into how engaged employees around the world are according to several different factors. The survey received a little over 7,200 responses, gathered across Brazil, Canada, China, India, the Latin American region outside of Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Respondents ranged in age from Baby Boomer-Gen Y, working in a range of industries for companies with more than 500 employees.

More than half of employees worldwide are not fully engaged.

Where Does Canada Fit In?

Just over a quarter of the Canadians surveyed are performing intensely and are intensely committed to their work.

Among the generations, Baby Boomers have the highest levels of intensity; following closely behind is Gen Y, while only a quarter of Gen X is performing intensely.

When the survey asked Canadian respondents how long they planned on staying at their organization, the average divided by each generational cohort revealed the following:

The results include those planning to retire which affects the Baby Boomer segment; however, it is clearly shown that Generation Y, having been a part of the workforce the fewest amount of years, isn’t planning on sticking around for long. And “Why not?” is a great question to be asking.   

Today’s workforce is incredibly dynamic which adds to the complexity of being able to engage all of your employees from each generation.  

How Can I Raise Employee Engagement Levels in My Company?

We know engagement is important. The reality is that without it, the threat of employee turnover is greater, or your employees are not realizing their full potential as a part of your organization.

Employee engagement programs need to be updated with the changes reflected in today’s workforce. Think about it. There are four generations working together, in the same place, and Generation Z is up and coming. That fact alone is something to seriously consider when designing an employee engagement program that will have an impact.

Practice leaders at BI WORLDWIDE have fielded pioneering research leading to identify the New Rules of Engagement ℠. These ‘rules of engagement’ are a way of looking at engagement in the workforce to help companies be diagnostic with what pieces are missing for them, specifically, in the employee engagement puzzle.

The New Rules of Engagement are now the subject of a book called Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They’re Real People, written by New York Times bestselling author, Rodd Wagner.                                

To learn more about how we can help your company with employee engagement or the New Rules of Engagement survey, we welcome you to get in touch at: canada@biworldwide.com.