Employee Engagement in a Nutshell

Employee Engagement in a Nutshell

Nonprofit Connect recently hosted Employee Engagement: A Leadership Imperative as part of the Senior Leaders program series. Stephen Ingalls, president of LGL Leadership, shared his expertise on the importance of Employee Engagement and how your nonprofit organization can start working on an Employee Engagement plan today.

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is a heightened emotional and intellectual connection that an employee has with their job that in turn influences them to apply additional effort to their work. In today’s society, only thirty percent of employees consider themselves engaged. Fifty percent consider themselves not engaged, and another twenty percent are actively disengaged. What about your organization?

What isn’t Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement isn’t entertainment. While your employees may appreciate having a Ping-Pong table in the conference room or a legendary annual holiday party, these ploys offer short term happiness and your staff will always be expecting another trick.

Employee engagement isn’t job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is what you get. Engagement is what you give. Without engagement, even the most satisfied employees are susceptible to plateau and start looking at other opportunities.

So what does Employee Engagement mean for my Organization?

Employee engagement boasts proven return on investment. High levels of employee engagement have been shown to improve operating income by nineteen percent. Engagement levels directly affect productivity, profitability and employee retention rates. Considering the nonprofit industry’s reputation for high turnover, employee engagement can save your organization big bucks.

The Path to Disengagement

Over ninety percent of new hires are engaged when they join a new company, but an average of sixty percent of those engaged employees become disengaged within six months. Why? Disengagement is caused by a variety of trigger events including petty enforcement of authority, unexpectedly low performance ratings or pressure to make unreasonable personal sacrifices. Once employees start to question their job, they often start down the path to alternate career opportunities.

What Drives Employee Engagement?

Combat disengagement by focusing on the top employee engagement drivers. Leadership, company image, career development opportunities and empowerment all drive employee engagement to the next level. However a successful relationship with the immediate supervisor remains the number one factor in employee engagement.

How Should I Address the Challenge?

It is important to look at the challenge of employee engagement as an opportunity for partnership and commitment, rather than an opening for management and compliance. Make employee engagement a two-way conversation in your organization. You can start by measuring your baseline and offering an engagement survey to your employees based on the employee engagement drivers. From the survey results, select one or two drivers to focus on at a time, and start your journey towards engaged employees and return on your investment.

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