Did you know that employers with the highest percentage of engaged employees increase their margins by an average of 3.64% and their net profit margins by 2.06%? And that offices with engaged employees are 43% more productive? 
The concept of employee engagement stems from high economical fluctuations and the rise of unemployment rates after 9/11 in 2011.
A new generation of employees entered the workforce with a desire for long-term employer relationships on their own terms. This new group is shaking up the workforce and demanding more from their employer. Employees are now asking their employers: “What’s in it for me to work here?”
The concept of work/life balance has changed. Working at home is more preferable. Technology provides the ability to work remotely, and it has become necessary for organizations to flex in this regard.
Four levels of engagement
Accenture surveyed 1,367 large, US-based organizations and defined four levels of engagement. The report outlines:
- Devoted workers are the most engaged employees; those who put their heart and soul into their work each day and strive for continuous improvement.
- “Plugged in” employees usually willing to go the extra mile to do their jobs well; they tend to contribute consistently and accomplish goals.
- Workers that fall in the “cruise control” category show up for work and only put in occasional effort.
- Employees who are “Checked out” only do the work that’s needed.
Recognition and rewards
Recognizing efforts and valuing individual contribution is fundamental in keeping your employees engaged. The good news is, you don’t need to invest money to achieve this. Employees are recognized many ways. It doesn’t have to be a gift watch!
Let me share with you a few tricks:
- Create an atmosphere that fosters good relationships at all levels.
- Really listen to what employees have to say.
- Recognize accomplishments with timely recognition—even if it’s only a “thank you.”
- Outline clear performance expectations.
- Celebrate successes as they occur.
Employee engagement requires attention on behalf of the employer on what is important to the employees. It requires the ability to provide employees with reasons to stay. These reasons range from providing career development to engaging in social responsibility.
It is worthwhile for organizations to pay attention to the engagement of their employer. If you are a small business struggling with retention and disengagement, we can help.
 Towers Perrin_ISR, June 2007
 The Hay Group