Nurturing Employees: Fostering Lasting Employee Engagement and Commitment 

Fostering Lasting Employee Engagement and Commitment

What is employee engagement, and what makes it so vital in the business landscape?  

Aside from creating a committed and spirited workforce, there are other benefits to positively engaging with your employees. However, employee engagement should be a continuous effort and not just a one-time event.  

Let us walk you through the meaning, importance, and how you can achieve a positive work culture that fosters employee engagement and commitment. 

What Is Employee Engagement? 

It is the mental and emotional connection employees feel towards the work they do, their teams, and their organization. It is the extent to which employees feel committed to their jobs, motivated to perform at their best, and aligned with the organization’s goals and values. 

However, most people think employee engagement is the same as job satisfaction—it isn’t. Many employees might be satisfied because they have a comfortable salary, friendly colleagues, and good working conditions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are fully engaged. 

Some are satisfied with their jobs because they meet their basic needs and provide certain levels of comfort, but not because they feel a sense of purpose or fulfillment in their work. 

What Does Employee Engagement Look Like? 

Highly engaged employees find their jobs fulfilling and meaningful, even if they’re unsatisfied with certain aspects, such as compensation or work hours. 

Motivated 

They take the initiative to improve processes, solve problems, and contribute beyond their job descriptions. If they identify a bottleneck in a project, they won’t hesitate to suggest a solution or take steps to resolve the issue without being asked. 

Spirited 

They are usually eager to tackle challenges and maintain a can-do attitude, which can be contagious and motivate their colleagues. During tough projects or endeavors, they usually uplift team morale by offering encouragement and solutions rather than complaints. 

Collaborative 

They are usually team players. They willingly collaborate with their colleagues, share knowledge, and provide support when needed. 

Adaptive 

Change doesn’t faze them. They’re adaptable and resilient. And when things take an unexpected turn or a project hits a roadblock, they may be the first to pivot and find a new way forward. 

Why Is It So Important to Ensure Employees Are Engaged? 

Engaged employees act as catalysts for innovation, collaboration, and overall success in the workplace. A workplace full of these individuals tends to experience: 

1. Boosts in Productivity 

A meta-analysis conducted by the Gallup Organization, which studied 2.7 million employees, revealed that organizations with high levels of employee engagement report a remarkable 18% boost in productivity.¹ Furthermore, Gallup found differences in other business results, such as: 

  • 81% in absenteeism 
  • 64% in accidents 
  • 28% in theft 
  • 41% in rates of defects 
  • 18% in sales 
  • 23% in profitability 

2. Reduced High Employee Turnover 

High turnover rates can have a significant impact on company resources. When considering factors such as hiring and training costs, it is estimated that losing an employee can cost a company between one-half to two times the employee’s salary.²

On the other hand, engaged employees are less likely to leave their jobs, which is evident in the statement made by an employee from Dell in SHRM’s report.³ 

“Even if I were offered a comparable position with similar pay and benefits at another company, I would choose to stay at Dell.” 

Related reading: The String that Binds Employee Engagement to Employee Retention 

3. Increased Innovation and Adaptability 

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, innovation and adaptability are crucial for long-term success. Engaged employees are more receptive to change and active contributors to the organization’s activities and challenges. Their inclination toward new ideas, readiness to take risks, and motivation to enhance existing processes make them the driving force behind developments or process enhancements in the workplace. 

4. Enhanced Customer Experience 

When employees are engaged, their commitment shines through in customer interactions. They exhibit heightened attentiveness to customer needs, respond promptly to inquiries, and willingly surpass expectations to guarantee customer satisfaction, increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

How to Create a Workplace Culture That Nurtures Lasting Employee Engagement and Commitment 

Building a company culture that prioritizes engagement is crucial for overall organizational success. Here are eight employee engagement strategies you can follow to improve employee engagement: 

1. Communicate Transparently and Openly 

Effective communication is the foundation of any healthy work culture. Employees often want to know the company’s goals, strategies, and challenges. They also want to understand how their roles contribute to the bigger picture—and leaders can make this happen through transparent and open communication. 

Try to encourage employees to ask questions and provide feedback. This may involve catch-up meetings, routine email updates, or one-on-one conversations. Leaders can also maintain an approachable demeanor and a willingness to embrace the concerns and ideas of their employees. 

2. Provide Growth and Learning Opportunities 

Employees who are engaged can envision a future for themselves within the organization. To nurture enduring commitment, consider prioritizing the professional growth of your workforce. Provide training and skill-building opportunities, mentorship programs, and clear career progression paths. 

When employees perceive that their personal growth and development are paramount to the organization, their dedication, and engagement tend to persist. And as they acquire fresh skills and knowledge, they can become valuable company assets. 

3. Recognize and Reward Achievements 

Recognition and appreciation are powerful motivators. When the organization recognizes and rewards employees’ endeavors, it strengthens their dedication to the company. Whether through verbal commendation, monetary bonuses, promotions, or even simple thank-you notes, appreciation can come in different ways. Remember to make it timely, specific, and sincere.  

4. Foster a Sense of Belonging and Inclusivity 

There’s a strong connection between belonging and engagement. According to recent research by Qualtrics, only 20% of employees who don’t feel a sense of belonging are engaged, compared to 91% of engaged employees who feel they belong.⁴ 

In a diverse workforce, some people may naturally connect more with others who share similarities, like abilities, race, or gender. While this is okay, it’s vital to stress the importance of respect and belonging. Our priority should be to create an inclusive workplace where diversity and respect are valued. Team building, cross-departmental collaborations, and training programs are great ways to make a positive workplace. 

5. Encourage Work-Life Balance 

Employee burnout is a significant threat to engagement and commitment. Consider offering flexible work arrangements, encourage employees to take regular breaks, and set realistic expectations for workload. 

When employees have time to recharge and attend to their personal lives, they are more likely to bring their best selves to work and remain committed in the long term. 

6. Align Values and Mission 

When employees have a solid grasp of the organization’s objectives and goals, they are better equipped to perceive the purpose behind their work. This heightened awareness can significantly boost their motivation, driving them to actively engage in their tasks and witness the immediate impact of their efforts. 

7. Solicit and Act on Feedback 

Listening to employee feedback and taking action based on their input is a powerful way to demonstrate commitment to their well-being. Consider conducting regular surveys or feedback sessions to gather insights into employee concerns and suggestions for improvement. 

More importantly, take action on the gathered feedback. When employees see that their input leads to positive changes, it reinforces their belief that their voices are valued and encourages continued engagement. 

8. Lead by Example 

Leadership sets the tone for the entire organization. Leaders who embody the qualities of engagement, commitment, and positive work culture are more likely to inspire these traits in their teams. 

Leaders should be visible, approachable, and lead with integrity. They should demonstrate enthusiasm for their work, provide clear direction, and be responsive to their team’s needs. When employees see their leaders fully engaged and committed, it sets a powerful example for the entire organization. 

FIND YOUR NEXT IDEAL CANDIDATE WITH THE HELP OF GALT FOUNDATION  

The Galt Foundation is committed to connecting employers with suitable candidates regardless of how differently abled they are. 

If you want to create a more inclusive work environment and harness the valuable talents and perspectives that people with disabilities offer, let Galt Foundation help you build a diverse workforce. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can assist you. 

References 

1. “The Benefits of Employee Engagement.” Gallup, 7 Jan. 2023, www.gallup.com/employee-engagement-drives-growth. 

2. Heinz, Kate. “The True Costs of Employee Turnover.” Built-In, 23 Jun. 2023, builtin.com/recruiting/cost-of-turnover. 

3. Robert J. Vance. “Employee Engagement and Commitment.” SHRM, www.shrm.org/employee-engagement-commitment. 29 Sept. 2023. 

4. “Employee Experience: A global snapshot.” Qualtrics, 2021, success.qualtrics.com/Qualtrics-2021-Employee-Experience-Trends.  

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Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.