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You may have heard of the phrase “Employee Engagement” before.  It can be easy to say that employees do better when they are cared for, but what does that actually look like?  Let’s turn to Gallup to see what they have to say.

To give you a little background, “Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.”  You may have heard of their polls in your time.

This profound and knowledgeable company shares this; “Researchers studied 82,248 work units, including nearly 1.9 million employees,” and found that work units who had engaged employees in the top twenty-five percentile provided the following results:

Synter Resource Group Gallup Poll StatisticsSource: Gallup

Numbers don’t lie.  Engaged employees can be the difference between staying open and closing down for some companies.  It’s time to make employee engagement an important subject in management discussions, meetings, and decisions.  So, now that you know your employees need to be more engaged to make a 21% greater profit, what do you do?  Take a look at these three recommendations.

1) Don’t ask for your employees’ input when you don’t intend to actually use it.

Using surveys with employees can enable tricky situations, causing emotions to run high.  When you have an employee who sees a survey, requesting their feedback and input, he/she will see an opportunity to offer their personal and professional opinions on matters that very may well be extremely important to him/her.  Don’t lead your employees on by making it seem like you want their input in order to affect positive change, but really, you are just looking to gather information.

Show your employees respect by asking for their input and, then, affirmatively acting on it and following up with them to discuss their ideas.  This will make employees feel heard, important, and noticed by the company, improving their likelihood of staying with the company longer and reducing absenteeism.

2) Make increasing employee engagement a SMART goal.

Managers can be told by leadership all day long that they want to managers to increase employee engagement, but until it is made into a SMART goal, managers’ heads will surely be filled with empty words and their time will be wasted.

3) Employ managers whose goal it is to see their employees achieve great things.

Ask specific questions in interviews for manager positions about how they would respond in different situations with employees who are underperforming.  Ask them, “How would you go about measurably increasing this person’s engagement in the company?” Be direct in your interviews; explain how important employee engagement is and take the time to hear their response to how important it is to them, too.  Listen to them for what they are actually saying, not what you hope to hear.

These can all be the differences between having engaged or unengaged employees!