There can be two very similar companies in the same city. They may sell the same items, set the same pricing per unit of product or service, and have an equal number of employees. However, the differences in their total production and sales are like night and day. One company is barely getting by. The problems it is experiencing include theft, low employee morale, and high labour costs. The other business however, is experiencing its best year ever with skyrocketing profits and high demand for its quality goods and services. According to this Ivey Business Journal article, "What Engages Employees the Most or the Ten C's of Employee Engagement," only about 29 percent of all employees are actively engaged in their professions.
The difference between these two companies is that the first business has employees who just punch a time clock, put their time in and collect a paycheck while the second business has high employee engagement. Employee engagement is when the line employees and the management combined all work together to produce the highest quality items or services they possibly can because they like where they are and enjoy coming to work every day. They take their positions personally and their work seriously, no matter how menial it is, and would gladly stay an extra hour or two if the boss asked them to.
So why would this make a difference in the bottom line?
Decrease in Absences and Tardiness
Individuals who care about their jobs care enough to show up on time. They rarely call in sick and if they do, it is a serious emergency. They communicate to their superiors when they need time off and do their best to make up the work when they return. This greatly reduces the impact of lost production or the cost of a temporary and inexperienced worker.
Decrease In Turnover
They also don't quit. They stay at the same company for years at a time because they feel comfortable and well cared for. They don't feel belittled or taken advantage of in any way and gladly work all the way up to retirement with their co-workers with whom they have established friendships and rapports. The human resource department budget stays at an even keel because there is little need for drug tests or pre-employment inquiries, all of which cost money. Training expenses are almost non-existent as positions are rarely made available and if they are, they are filled with employees who want to move up the ladder.
Higher Quality Products and Services
Because the employees care, they take great pride in their work. Working quickly and efficiently is second nature to them and they would take it very personally if a deadline was not met or an error made in shipment. They want the company to succeed because they feel that they are part of the big picture, not just a minor cog in the wheel.
Increased Opportunities for Employee Promotion
The knowledge base of a long-term employee is priceless. This also makes them excellent candidates for promotion. Engaged employees know that with hard work and dedication, they will continue to grow and excel within the walls of the company they work for.
Engaged employees are not born. They are made. It takes a special type of management to make these individuals feel like integral units of the business. Managers who care about the growth and well being of their staff will be re-paid by having engaged employees who will always go the extra mile.