Employee engagement: a problem or opportunity?

Many company owners or managers express their frustration when discussing employee engagement. They figure that we pay our people to do a job, so they just need to do it. Well, unless you are dealing with robots, it doesn’t quite work that way.

This article is an elaboration of Bruce’s article “Team engagement counts” because his words of wisdom highly resonate with me.

What is employee engagement?

It is a term that describes a psychological and emotional commitment to one’s work, team, and organisation.

The cost of low engagement

Face it. Your employees are the engine that makes it all happen.

The higher the engagement, the more ‘good shit’ happens. And the lower the engagement, well, you can guess.

Low engagement costs you bucks.

In fact, Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 report highlights, that employees who are actively disengaged, cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.

It is estimated that the cost of losing a staff member is between 30% – 50% of their annual salary. Don’t you just love going through the recruitment process?… Not.

These are just a few cost impacts to low employee engagement.

The benefits of high workplace engagement

Now for the good news. Statistics clearly show the gains that companies have with highly engaged team members.

  • 10% higher customer loyalty/engagement
  • 23% higher profitability
  • 18% higher sales
  • 14% higher productivity
  • Significantly improved results in implementing strategic initiatives (getting good shit done)
  • 43% lower turnover
  • Higher levels of engagement are strongly related to higher levels of innovation. 59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas against only 3% of disengaged employees
  • Highly engaged teams experience 41% fewer absentees

How to improve employee engagement

Engagement cannot be created through financial incentives. Remember, it’s a psychological and an emotional connection.

Employees don’t care about shareholder returns unless they have a stake in the game. Depending on the degree of disengagement, most disengaged employees will just come to work and do their job at a minimum. Nothing else. So, forget about them going the extra mile for a customer or the company.

Employers must get into the heads and hearts of their employees by giving them something they can relate to and connect with. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is not something most employees get excited about (assuming they even know what it is).

Build the platform

Creating a genuine company purpose (its “WHY”) begins the journey of connectivity. Let them know where the business is going through its vision and goals. One thing I always encourage in your Vision is to look to beEXTRAORDINARY – not ordinary. Now that creates a buzz for your teams.

Next, create the company values – how you operate around the workplace. My previous article outlines this topic in more detail.

Have a plan

Ensure you have a clear strategic plan and journey roadmap you can share with your teams. This way, they can see the pathways to achieving the vision and goals of the company.

Let them know how they contribute

Now that your teams know where the business is going and its goals, tell them the part they play in helping the organisation reach its destination, and ensure they have the tools and training to do the job. Employees rate their personal career or technical growth highly in what they value from a company.


Thanking and congratulating people who go the extra mile, who go above and beyond what their job spec says, will further connect them with the company and its purpose. However, be careful not to pass on praise for the sake of it. Do it with sincerity because you mean it.

Have high-performing teams

When you’re in a team that’s humming, you have people who are highly engaged, aligned, and producing great results. The halo effect of their high-performance culture flows to other teams that they collaborate with, and ultimately, the customer experience is greater.

Have great leaders

Great leaders are made, not born.  A good manager or leader (yes there are differences) is fine. But for them to make a real difference, they need to be great, in my opinion.

Interestingly, with the Team Alchemy system, employee engagement has reached over 65%. So, it works!

As you can tell, I love this shit. So please get in touch with me and I’ll shout you a beverage to talk further about how we can support you in making great things happen with your people and company.

If you don’t know where to begin, want to talk through something, or have a specific question but are not sure who to address it to, fill in the form, and we’ll get back to you within two working days.

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