What is Employee Engagement and Why Should I Care About it?

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Employee engagement, also commonly known as worker engagement, is a business management concept. A truly engaged employee is deemed to be one who is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work. And by definition, if they are more engaged, it is believed they will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. According to Scarlett Surveys, “Employee Engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization which profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work”. With that being the case, then employee engagement is clearly different from employee satisfaction, motivation and organizational culture. So…..how many of your employees are truly “engaged”? And why is that important to you? Read further and let’s find out!

Emotional Attachment

Recent studies indicate just how important emotional attachment is to the engagement equation.  Here are a few key stats to support that.

  • 31% of employees are actively engaged in their jobs, 1/3 of the workforce
  • 88% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact their organization, compared with 38% of the disengaged
  • 72% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively affect customer service versus 27% of the disengaged
  •  68% of highly engaged employees believe they can positively impact costs in their job, compared with just 19% of the disengaged

The end message on emotional attachment is clear. The people who are engaged feel a stronger emotional bond with their organization and in turn demonstrate a willingness to recommend the organization to others and to commit time and effort to help the organization succeed. If true, then it suggests people are motivated first by intrinsic factors like personal growth, working for a common purpose and being part of a team with extrinsic factors such as pay/reward being second to that in importance.



A second key piece of the employee engagement puzzle is employees and their level of commitment. Why?

Employees with the highest level of commitment perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave an organization.  A classic example of this is MolsonCoors where it was found that engaged employees were five times less likely than disengaged employees to have a safety incident and seven times less likely to have a lost-time incident. The average cost of a safety incident for engaged workers was $63, versus an average of $392 for a non-engaged employee. Through strengthening employee engagement the company saved $1,721,760 in safety costs in 2002. Also, huge savings were also realized in sales through improved engagement. The difference there meant a savings of $2,104,823.


Okay, enough stats and cases proving what should seem obvious. Clearly, employee engagement can have a HUGE impact on any organization’s bottom line in a variety of ways. In our coming issues we will drill down deeper into some specifics and how to address and improve your employee engagement results. It seems obvious we all should care about that now!