What is employee engagement and why does it matter?

Employee engagement. You’ve undoubtedly heard the term before. But what is it, really? And does it matter?

As it happens, it matters a lot in the modern workplace. It has an impact on nearly every aspect of business: from turnover rates, to customer satisfaction, sales and profit. Here, we tell you all you need to know about employee engagement and just how important it really is.

To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace. ”
Doug Conant
Doug Conant

Employee engagement is about more than people being satisfied or even happy in their job. If people are emotionally invested in the success of the company they work for, are passionate about its vision, aware of and actively working towards company-wide goals, and see their work itself as fulfilling, they are engaged at work.

It’s well documented that millennials value company loyalty less than previous generations. With research indicating that only half of them plan to be at their current company in a year's time, it’s clear as ever that modern employees need more to keep them committed to a company long-term. Keeping them engaged is the answer.

Besides resulting in a workforce full of happy, motivated and productive people, keeping employees engaged has many other perks. From decreasing turnover and absence, to increasing profits, here’s why it’s so important.

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers"
Stephen R Covey
Stephen R. Covey
Chairman and Founder of Covey Leadership Center

Turnover & company loyalty

Businesses with great company culture and a workforce of enthusiastic, engaged employees is more likely to be able to retain talent. Research has established a strong correlation between low engagement and turnover. If people are invested in their work and don’t just skate by in order to get their monthly paycheck, but genuinely love what they’re doing, they are more likely to spend a longer period with the company and invest their efforts there.

Work performance

It’s pretty simple: if people are engaged at work, they’re going to put in more effort, and therefore do a better job. With research finding that businesses with engaged employees have 51% higher rates of productivity, and that highly engaged employees take less days of absence, the effect that engagement has on people’s performance is clear.

It’s not limited to those inside the company, either. Engagement also largely influences factors like customer satisfaction. It’s clear to customers when they are speaking with someone who really believes and values the company, it can also impact how enthused the customer feels about doing business with the company.

A successful business

Having a company full of engaged employees who are openly passionate about their work also builds its reputation as a great place to work; something that is becoming more and more important to the modern employee. Branding your business as somewhere which maintains great company culture, combined with a team full of employees who love what they do makes it incredibly appealing to the best new talent. This breeds have high-performing teams who put in a lot of effort, build strong relationships, and ultimately impact bottom line.

As we have uncovered employee engagement isn’t just an HR trend, it’s a key part of running a great business, and, when people are engaged in the workplace, it works in everyone’s favor.

Download our Manager's Guide to Using Feedback to Engage Your Team to continue to develop and increase employee engagement.

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