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What is employee engagement and why is it important to your business?

Lynne Rawlinson


Employee engagement can be simply defined as ‘an employee who is fully absorbed and enthusiastic about their work and therefore takes positive action to further the company’s reputation and interests’.

Ensuring that employees are fully engaged will work to any company’s advantage as productivity, positive brand reinforcement and dedication will directly benefit the company and increase a positive corporate perception to a wider audience. The benefits of employee engagement have triggered a surge in engagement schemes within businesses that aim to increase employee input. Recent research certainly backs up many business owners’ gut feeling that employee engagement schemes do have a tangible impact on the bottom line.

It’s not a simple correlation and there are many factors involved, but engaged employees take fewer sick days, are less likely to suffer from presenteeism and more likely to demonstrate commitment and loyalty towards an organisation. Engagement schemes communicate a lot about an employer’s commitment to its workforce and when an organisation pays it forward, it often reaps the rewards by way of a highly engaged, loyal and committed workforce.

Basic schemes that include perks such as gym membership, health care or day care subsidisation show an employee that they matter, which initiates a direct correlation between personal satisfaction with benefits and overall job satisfaction.

Some companies really go above and beyond with their engagement schemes. For example, Google offers staff free legal advice and extra cash for new parents. Retail giant John Lewis ensures it gets the best out of employees by making them all partners in the brand, meaning staff members get a share in benefits and profits.

Whilst it’s not viable for every business to offer such high value employee schemes, it is possible for a business of any size to make a basic engagement package available. Whether it’s a bonus day off on an employee’s birthday, small gestures can make a big difference to create an engaged workforce.

Retaining a talented workforce is only achievable when you make staff members feel valued and inspire them to go that extra mile. Do so effectively and you will likely see business boom.