employee engagement goes to the heart of the employer-employee relationship.

At its best, it enables people to be the best they can be as involved, respected, and valued contributors to their organisation’s success. Differences between the best and worst engaged organisations include 18% higher productivity, 40% lower employee turnover and 62% fewer accidents.

It’s a virtuous circle: engaged employees know their work affects their organisation’s goals and priorities in an environment that reinforces their values and beliefs. They know what’s expected of them (and why) and feel connected with other staff and parts of the organisation.

Research also suggests higher levels of employee engagement lead to more innovative work behaviour. Engaged employees are much more likely to search out new methods or techniques and transform creative ideas into useful applications and cost savings.

New ways of working that rely on discretionary effort willingly given (e.g. innovation, collaboration, joint problem solving) cannot thrive in environments where employee abilities are not valued or trusted.

There is no shortage of research and ideas on how to increase employee engagement.

here are some recurrent themes:

Women in scrubs looking at each other in delight
Women in scrubs looking at each other in delight

align employee goals to business outcomes.

  • Employees need to know they are working for their own goals as much as the organisation. People will want to see how their job impacts the organisation’s overall success

see your employees as people, not payroll.

increase employee input and involvement.

  • Listen to problems at the local as well as at the organisational level.
  • Support team-building activities, coaching and mentoring

to know your employees' strengths.

  • Putting people in the right job fit is part of engaging your employees where both the organisation and the employee benefit. Engagement increases when the focus is on employees’ strengths

recognising and rewarding your employees

  • From mastering a new work process, gaining a sought-after client, and solving a problem that creates value for an organisation to exemplary demonstrations of an organisation’s core values, recognition of the contribution made by the individual is a significant part of employee engagement.

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