Why Is Employee Engagement Important?

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When companies implement effective strategies for employee engagement, the benefits cascade to create a more positive work culture, increase productivity, reduce staff turnover, and attract top talent. That, in turn, improves everything from customer relationships to overall company profits and success.

What Does Employee Engagement Mean?

Employee engagement goes beyond the ideas of job satisfaction and happiness at work. It means that the company keeps employees fully absorbed in and enthusiastic about their work. Engaged workers are committed to their job and inspired to help further the organization’s interests and reputation. Morale, motivation, well-being, and loyalty are all part of employee engagement.

READ MORE: 3 Effective Employee Reward Program Ideas to Foster Engagement

What Are the Dangers of Having Disengaged Employees?

Several problems are associated with having a disengaged workforce, including:

  • Employees putting in less effort (or “quiet quitting”), reducing the team’s productivity and potentially damaging customer relationships. 
  • High turnover, which results in increased recruitment and onboarding costs and could lead to skilled team members defecting to your competitors.
  • Difficulty in recruiting more talented workers, since candidates are likely to judge or hear about the negative culture.

Combined, these issues can ultimately lead to the company taking a hit in overall revenue and profits.

What Are the Advantages of Having Engaged Employees? 

When employees are engaged, it has positive outcomes because they feel more connected to the mission of their employer and their work. Companies reap the benefits of that passion. According to Gallup, organizations that report high employee engagement also have, on average:

  • 18% higher sales productivity.
  • 23%​ higher profits.
  • 10% higher customer loyalty/engagement.
  • 43% lower turnover.
  • 81%​ lower absenteeism​.

How Can Companies Effectively Engage Employees?

There are many aspects of employee engagement that companies should focus on. One of the most important is a rewards and recognition program. Showing appreciation for your employees and making them feel valued is a key part of engagement. Consider these statistics:

  • 81% of employees say getting a gift card or prepaid card as a reward from their employer would motivate them to work harder, and 79% say it would make them want to stay longer with the company, according to Blackhawk Network research.
  • SurveyMonkey data shows that 82% of survey respondents consider recognition to be important to their happiness at work. 
  • Employees who feel appropriately recognized at work are 2.2 times more likely than others to say that their employer embraces innovative thinking and 2.6 times more likely to believe that promotions are fair.

A rewards program can also help you with other employee engagement strategies, such as:

  • Building wellness programs. Use rewards to encourage healthy behaviors. Among U.S. employees, 83% say their employers’ well-being rewards and programs enhance their overall employment experience.
  • Soliciting feedback. Hearing from — and actually listening to! — your employees is key to understanding how to improve their engagement. Offer rewards for employee survey completion to make sure you get a wide range of opinions and ideas, and not just responses from those who are very happy or unhappy.
  • Supporting career development and training. While employees often report that the opportunity to develop new professional skills is important to them, it’s sometimes easy to put off when other tasks take priority. Make sure you give team members the time to participate in training or industry events, and reward them for taking that initiative.

What Kinds of Rewards Are Effective for Employee Engagement?

All employees have different preferences, of course, but in general, there is a gap between the types of rewards employees want and what they most often receive. For your rewards to be effective at improving employee engagement, you must take into account what your workforce wants. Our 2022 Employee Incentives Report from NAPCO Research found that

90% of employees prefer to get gift cards or prepaid cards as rewards. Only 40% want in-office perks like social events and meals, but they’re offered by 58% of employers. Even fewer, 34%, want to be rewarded with apparel, yet 50% of employers give it.

In addition, employees aren’t always receiving recognition the way they want. Nearly half prefer to be recognized in a company event with others, but the most-used method cited by employers is a personalized card or email.

Why Is Using Digital Gift Cards as Rewards Beneficial for Employers? 

Not only are digital gift cards preferred by employees, they also offer many benefits for employers who use them as rewards. They can be delivered instantly, for free, by email or SMS to engage even remote and hybrid teams. They also give senders a lot of flexibility in regard to both type and value of reward, and there are options for international employees as well.

BHN Rewards offers an extensive range of digital gift cards that are ideal for increasing employee engagement, along with management tools that help you streamline and track your program.

Related Topics:

Employee Rewards Ideas That Aren’t Cutting It (And What to Give Instead)

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