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Be Successful By Understanding Employee Engagement

Here's what you need to know: Now more than ever employee engagement is critical to the performance of organizations
July 13th, 2017

Current studies say only 32% of the workforce in the U.S. is engaged.1

That means less than half of the working population feels excited to do their job each day and are committed to their employers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.

Here’s why

Replacing an employee costs more than you might think

Replacing an employee amounts to between 16-20% of a person’s annual salary.2  Everything from interview expenses, training, and on-boarding to the lower productivity rates of new hires costs employers time and money.

On top of that, recruiting highly skilled employees is a considerable challenge; 53% of organizations say they have difficulties hiring the right people.3 Putting time, resources, and energy into recruitment takes away from the employees still working for you.

Low employee engagement means lower organizational performance

Research shows that companies with engaged workforces have higher profits than organizations with low employee engagement.4 Disengaged employees are unhappy, less likely to be passionate about the work they’re doing and are actively spending time doing things unrelated to their tasks at hand, like searching for new opportunities.

In fact, more than 70% of employees are actively looking for a new job or are open to new opportunities.5

More sick days are taken by disengaged employees

Disengaged employees report more sick days or days where health issues limit their productivity.6 When employees aren’t at work, they’re creating a significant cost to employers in terms of loss of productivity and higher healthcare costs.

On average, absenteeism costs employers from $16 to $81 (small employer) and $17 to $286 (large employer) per employee per year.7 Add additional costs to that, such as healthcare administration tasks for managing absenteeism and sometimes temporary replacement workers or overtime pay, and employers end up spending billions of dollars on sick employees every year.

Unhappy employees disrupt collaboration and creativity

Workplace interactions are essential to the success of your organization. Imagine working in a hostile workplace environment. It’s not uncommon, and it’s not favorable to anyone. Employees affected by workplace incivility are 30% less creative, generate 25% fewer ideas, produce less original work, and have worse overall performance by 20%.8

Perhaps one of the most unfortunate aspects of disengagement is the impact it has on collaboration.

Collaboration generates money making ideas. You can’t afford to let collaboration dip.

These are only four of many reasons to be alarmed and educated on the current situation of our disengaged workforce.  Your organizations really cannot afford to lose employee engagement.

Use these 5 tips to increase your employee engagement right now

On a positive note, there are some convenient and very inexpensive ways to create high employee engagement!

In truth, there are five ways you can begin building stronger employee engagement if you aren’t already doing so.


  Recognize employees.


Doing this is as easy as saying thank you.

Thank you for turning up today.
Thank you for your commitment.
Thank you for being prepared.

There are hundreds of things to thank your employees for. Don’t be shy about telling them thank you because it’s the number one approach to positive reinforcement.

Give your employees one-on-one time. You’ll never believe it, but you can actually call your employees into your office for doing great work! Employees feel valued and appreciated when you take the time to recognize their hard work and dedication. At the same time, asking your employees for their input on an idea shows you respect them and care about them.


  Empower your people.

Empower by providing the resources employees need to be successful. When employees have the right resources to do their job, they are better equipped and more informed to make good decisions and develop effective solutions.

Empowerment comes in a variety of forms. It can stem from training courses; acknowledging employee suggestions and building a mutual trust; encouraging shared resources and cross-team collaboration; and providing different challenges for employees to avoid burnout and boredom.


  Give feedback.


Providing supportive feedback lets employees know where they are performing well and what improvements they need to make. Giving feedback is another way employees know they are respected and valued.

Use these tips to be effective. Feedback should always be about supporting employees’ success. It should come from caring about how they are building their skill sets to achieve goals that you set together. A majority of feedback should be positive, short and reinforcing good behavior.


  Be Transparent.


Transparent organizations give employees an opportunity to see how the business is doing and the operations behind its success. Transparency gives employees the chance to be actively involved with business operations.

Employees who fully understand how the organization is doing will be less likely to assume things and share incorrect information. It reinforces job security as well. Being open and honest about your organization helps employees understand the strategic plans, goals, and opportunities for them to more involved.


  Build trust.


Nearly 100% of actively engaged employees trust their company’s leadership. Like all good relationships, trust is an important part of maintaining one

With trust comes open collaboration and resource sharing. Creativity and innovation are also results of stronger trust between colleagues and management in the workplace. In addition, when employees trust senior leadership, they are less likely to resist change. Creating trusting partnerships in the workplace build environments that are conducive to higher performance and employee engagement.9

Now more than ever employee engagement is critical to maintain and build. Although the current employee disengagement situation is hard to believe, you can put practices in place to create an organization employees will be happy and excited to be part of!



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  1. Mann, Annamarie and Harter, Jim. (2016). The worldwide employee engagement. Gallup Group. Retrieved from
  2. Boushey, Heather and Glynn, Jane. (2012). There are significant business costs to replacing employees. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from
  3. SHRM. (2015). Employee job satisfaction and engagement: Optimizing organizational culture for success. Retrieved from
  4. Sorenson, Susan. (2013). How employee engagement drives growth. Gallup. Retrieved from
  5. (2016). New CareerBuilder study unveils surprising must knows for job seekers and companies looking to hire. CareerBuilder. Retrieved from
  6. Harter, Jim and Adkins, Amy. (2015). Engaged employees less likely to have health problems. Gallup. Retrieved from
  7. Asay, Garrett R. Beeler, Roy, Kakoli, Land, Jason E., et al. (2016). Absenteeism and employer costs associated with chronic diseases and health risk factors in the US workforce. Preventing Chronic Disease Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy. Retrieved from
  8. Porath, C. & Pearson, C. (2013). The price of incivility. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from
  9. Marciano, Paul. (2010). Carrots and sticks don’t work: Build a culture of employee engagement with the principles of RESPECT. McGraw Hill.
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