The clear case for improving employee engagement and retention in a flexible workforce

by | 03.10.2018
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On a scale of 1-10, how seriously do you take your employee engagement and how important is it for your employees to enjoy work?

If it’s not one of your top priorities, it should be. Employee engagement is much more than a desirable for businesses to have; it’s essential, and businesses who ignore how engaged their employees are do so at their peril. Why? Because businesses who have engaged employees consistently outperform those who don’t and always have the competitive edge over their rivals.

Traditionally, employee engagement has been classed as how productive or ‘happy’ employees are but, in reality, it is much more than this. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, John Baldoni describes engaged employees as: “People who want to come to work, understand their jobs, and know their work contributes to the success of the organisation.”

Clear benefits

And the benefits are clear to see. Engaged employees are happier, healthier and enjoy work. But the benefits don’t stop there. Engaged employees will make you more profitable. In fact, according to a study from Gallup, businesses with engaged employees see a 22% increase in profitability. What’s more, research from Watson Wyatt, found companies with strong employee engagement deliver a return for their shareholders of 64% across a five year period compared to 21% for those with low level of engagement.

Gallup also found business with engaged employees score up to 20% higher on customer satisfaction surveys than their competitors with low levels of engagement. And it’s not hard to see why. Happy employees who feel rewarded in their work are much more likely to go the extra mile for your customers. The same study found the productivity in engaged employees is, again, 20% greater than disengaged employees.

And, according to the Confederation of British Industry, the number of sick days taken by disengaged employees is double that of engaged employees. And retention levels are much higher in engaged employees.

Small changes, big impact

Of course, it’s easy for the likes of startups, tech companies and marketing agencies to make work fun. From daily yoga through to the communal ping pong table and cool break out spaces, there’s a huge number of ways different businesses go about doing it. But how can you improve employee engagement in a flexible workforce - especially in industries like retail and hospitality - where there’s high staff turnover and a large number of part time workers?

In truth, it doesn’t have to be difficult and simple changes can have a big impact. For example, after they began using a workforce management system, leading restaurant chain, Benugo, saw a 100% improvement in communication among employees - and better engagement as a result.

From better communication and creating a strong culture through to utilising technology and having awesome schedules, there are foolproof ways for you to take your employee engagement to the next level.

Your employees are your point of difference and your biggest competitive advantage. Over 90% of managers surveyed in a study by hr.com believe there is solid evidence linking engagement to performance, and they believe it has the strongest impact on customer service and productivity.

Yet still we see figures showing over 80% of employees aren’t engaged at work. Combine this with a Millennial workforce who have no qualms about switching jobs if they aren’t happy in the workplace and it’s not hard to see why creating a smiling workforce should be top of everyone’s agenda.

Take action

All of this means it’s time to stop talking about it and time to start doing something about it.

And we want to help you make great things happen. That’s why we’ve put together a free guide to take you through 8 simple ways to instantly improve employee engagement and retention. You can download it through the link below.

Download the guide 

Tommy Tonkins

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