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Want your employees to perform better? Focus on engagement

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) You can’t expect blind loyalty from employees. Positive employee engagement is crucial to retain and enhance staff performance.

Employee engagement in meeting with many different people around a meeting table collaborating.

Jack Welch, former CEO and Chairman of General Electric, once said, “There are only 3 measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: Employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow…” Cash flow is easy to track. Modern marketing tools have made it simpler to track customer satisfaction, but it’s easy to overlook employee engagement.

The Employee Experience Index report, from the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and Workhuman, examines the human experience in the workplace and how it affects a person’s performance.

Engaged employees perform at higher levels

Not surprisingly, one of the key findings was that employees want, even crave, a meaningful experience in the workplace. Positive work experiences were linked to better performance, more effort and higher retention. Employees who believe their opinions matter or who receive recognition at work report positive experiences over those who don’t.

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Employees with positive experiences report that they are less likely to leave the organization. The case for a positive work experience is clear. The question then becomes, what can organizations do to create an ideal employee experience?

What drives employee experience?

The IBM survey looked at leadership and workplace behaviors that relate to employee experience. Leadership and managers have a crucial part in creating a positive workplace. Employees want leaders to provide direction, clarity and support. The IBM survey found that 44% of employees believe they do not have that support from their senior leaders and managers.

Employees are demanding more out of their workplace. Integrity in the workplace directly affects the employee experience. Supportive coworkers are another element toward a positive experience. Employees who have meaningful work that is consistent with the organization’s core values report higher positive workplace experience. Employees also want opportunities for their voice to be heard. Flexibility and work-life balances are also associated with the ideal employee experience.

The Employee Experience Index report suggests “more positive employee experiences are linked to better performance, extra effort at work, and lower turnover intentions.” You’ll achieve better outcomes when your business remembers to pay attention to employee engagement as well as your customers and profits.

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Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

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