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The Importance of Engagement 
How to Ensure Your Employees are Thriving, Not Surviving.

It’s no secret that employee disengagement is costly. Studies show that less than 1 in 3 U.S. workers are consistently engaged. In fact, According to a recent Harvard Business Review report, employee disengagement costs employers anywhere from $450 to $550 billionevery year.  SHRM takes that statistic a step further, specifying toxic workplace culture as one of the main culprits for employee disengagement and turnover.  Their recent culture report indicates that turnover drained almost a quarter of a trillion dollars from businesses over the last 5 years.    

Amidst an unprecedented global pandemic, where a constantly changing landscape has become the new standard, it’s almost unavoidable to experience feelings of fear, anxiety, and fatigue.  Those emotions are enough to take down the company culture and quickly.  There has never been a more important time to focus on employee engagement and wellbeing – in challenging times it could mean the difference between success and failure.    

Gallup has been tracking employee wellbeing during COVID-19 and what they’ve found, put simply, is that if your employees aren’t thriving, your business is struggling.  According to this recent study, more important than having engaged employees is having thriving employees.  They discovered that engaged workers who are not thriving in their lives are much more vulnerable and at-risk to your organization. 

In a comparison between engaged employees who are not thriving in life, and those who are engaged and thriving – thriving employees have 53% fewer missed days due to health issues, and substantially lower disease burden due to depression and anxiety diagnosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and chronic pain. 

The study also found that employees who are not thriving have: 

  • 61% higher likelihood of burnout often or always 
  • 48% higher likelihood of stress during the day 
  • 66% higher likelihood of worry during the day 
  • 2x the rate of sadness and anger throughout the day 

So, what can be done?

The first step is engaging your employees. Engaged employees are more likely to participate in an organization’s wellbeing initiatives.  Companies that have engagement success often have a clear vision that employees feel aligned and involved with. In this kind of setting, where employees are valued and rewarded, they are more likely to value and commit to the organization’s purpose. 

2 ways to achieve better engagement:

1. Corporate Wellness Program – having a strong and effective platform to drive your mental and physical wellbeing initiatives. 

2. A team of Culture Representatives to cultivate a collective sense of purpose and demonstrate accountability through diversity and inclusion 

The second step is making the leap from engaged employees to thriving employees.  In a time of crisis, an employee’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, and personal safety become equally as important as having a good job, social stability, money, and health.  According to Gallup’s study, thriving involves a positive attitude of not only one’s present situation but also toward the future. They found that thriving employees had positive views of their present life situation, as well as the next 5 years or more.   

2 ways to help employees thrive, rather than simply survive: 

 1. Make it essential to offer better health services and benefits to your workforce – that includes access to mental health and financial resources.   

2. Prioritize Leadership – the ability to evolve as a company depends on the strength of your leadership.  Strong leaders help an organization align its strategy to better serve its people and propel it in the right direction.