Why should organizations invest in a well-designed Employee Engagement Program?

The nuts and bolts of employee engagement and why it's the building block for organizational success.

10 min read


A happy and motivated employee works towards the betterment of the organization. Such a member would give his/her best performance, which will serve the organization to gain profits and facilitate growth. But to achieve this, the organization needs to work towards keeping their staff happy and contented in their job. They need to devise a unique and exciting employee engagement program to create a long-lasting employer-employee relationship.

“Your number one customers are your people. Look after employees first and then customers last.”

Ian Hutchinson

Author of People Glue

In this handbook, you'll learn about:

  • What is Employee Engagement?

  • Impact of employee engagement

  • How technology can drive engagement?

Part 01

What is Employee Engagement?

Employee Engagement is a strategically designed program for the members of an organization, to create and maintain a productive, safe and friendly working environment for them on a day-to-day basis. Such approach brings out the best of productivity and capability in the workers. It also involves tending to their social, work and physical well-being , addressing their grievances, and rewarding their achievements.

Employee engagement is like a tightrope on which the employer along with the employees walk on a daily basis. If the organization is one end of this rope initiating the employee engagement programs, then the staff members are at the other end ,participating and engaging in these programs. Without a proper force from both the ends, the rope will lose its strength and fall limp.  Employee engagement in an organisation needs to ideally cover the entire hierarchy - from the top level to bottom.

Part 02

What does Employee Engagement mean for the workforce?

Employee engagement cannot just constitute of  having free monthly lunches and a full day outing half yearly. It is can neither be limited to employees undergoing a behavioral training. These are all just the frills of an engaged culture. Employee engagement brings plenty more on the table for the staff members.

When an employee is motivated to work every day without feeling a drag, when the staff understands the role they play in the company’s growth, when the team not only bonds amongst themselves but also develops a great camaraderie with the clients - these are the  results of a thriving employee engagement program, despite the fact that employee engagement affects different employees  at varying  degrees.

Part 03

Why should organizations implement Employee Engagement Program?

The only  reason why an organization does not invest in Employee Engagement Programs is that they haven’t researched and learned the benefits of doing so. Employee Engagement Programs will not only assist in the growth and prosperity of the corporation but will also help them in building long-term relationships with the employees and the clients equally. Happy and satisfied employees will automatically strive to keep the clients happy which will aid the organization in gaining business momentum. 

Engagement’s biggest benefit for a company is a performance-oriented culture where employees strive to not only achieve success but also learn on the job and attain a feeling of satisfaction. Satisfied employees drive the growth and increase the client satisfaction.

Also, talent management is easier in an organisation with engaged employees. Organizations that realize the importance of engagement are more culture driven and mark profits. Employee engagement  also brings about a strong bonding between employees and the organization directly as well as indirectly.  As per a report by Experience Matters, the organizations with above average customer experience statistics had the most engaged workplaces.

Benefits of an employee engagement program

Following are the benefits of an employee engagement program. 

Direct Benefits

1. Happier Employees

An ideal Employee Engagement curriculum is aimed to address three core dimensions of employee well being: work, social and physical.

Work – This constitute of the employees’ current project, deliverables and success factors.

Social – This wraps-in the social environment of employees within the organization to help them network with like-minded co-workers and share their thoughts.

Physical – This aims at providing the best ergonomics and workplace safety for the staff. Further to this, grievance redressal is an important facet of the Employee Engagement Program.

“My company never forgets to remind me of my wife's birthday or our anniversary. A gift voucher and a bouquet have been a ritual from their side every year. It makes me happy to be a part of such an employee caring organization.”

A satisfied IT employee

2. Employee recreation

Employee engagement helps rewire the brain. A tired brain is a dwindling store of energy and stale ideas.The brain can be rewired with freshness with recreational programs like an occasional one-day team outing or a guitar learning class in the premise. A recreational activity, especially at the start of the week, will engage the interested employees to make monday blues a thing of the past

A recreational activity like a full day team-building plan will help the employees to release the work pressure. Such activities bring out cohesion among the coworkers and swell creativity.

Organizations that deploy a pool table or a foosball table in the cafeterias witness great camaraderie among the employees. Such activities improve leadership and communications vital for the growth of both employee and employer. Fun activities also facilitate in breaking the invisible wall between managers and subordinates. 

3. Helps address the issues of employees

  • Increased safety: The physical aspect of employee engagement like an ergonomically compliant or a fire safety complaint workspace helps avoid any kind of hazards. A workspace with properly placed safety measures and activities like fire drills see more engaged employees.

  • Better Employee health: A work environment that cares for the fitness of its workers works towards the well being of its employees and the growth of the organisation itself.
    By the end of 2012, Gallup’s report made it unequivocal that a highly engaging environment motivates employees to exercise 3 times a week and eat healthily.
    A 2016 Staying@work report proved that caring for the employees’ health resulted in employees twice more likely to be engaged in their jobs and 24-25% fewer employees with hypertension and high glucose levels.
    83% of APAC firms wish to implement fitness-related programs for the welfares of their employees.

  • Improved work-life balance: Employers worldwide are embracing the idea of better work-life balance by providing facilities to commute, connect remotely and follow flexible work hours. More and more employers are jumping into the bandwagon of allowing flex working style to increase work-life balance among the staff because the inevitable long working hours are heightened by the lengthy travels. 71% of employees cited lesser stress with no commuting when working remotely.As per a Gallup study, 59% of organizations have given weightage to this factor for success and 53% of the employees expect to strive for equilibrium between work and personal time. The absence of this aspect of a well-planned employee engagement program is rated among the top 5 reasons for the workers to hop at new jobs.

  • Increased employee satisfaction: A thoughtfully executed engagement program brings about multiple benefits for the staffs at all levels It could involve finding the right role for the candidate in the organization to helping them learn new skills or even arranging an elderly or an infant care program. Such initiatives are proven to bring more satisfaction to the employees.Bottom-line is: a happy employee is a well-engaged member in the company and he/she eventually dissipates satisfaction.Better Employee-Manager relationship‍That invisible barrier most of the subordinates hesitate to cross can be easily blurred with properly implemented team building activities and facilitating one-on-one conversations between the two parties. Engaging them to talk without hesitation is not only important for the individuals at their roles but also for the growth of the organizations.This includes involving each level of the employee pyramid in open conversations through town hall meetings, open houses and skip level meetings. Such events not only develop a stronger bond among the leaders and the subordinates, but also bring about a feeling of inclusion.

  • Grievance redressal: A thoughtfully designed grievance redressal system can help employees get rid of the discontent or the dissatisfaction. Any policy or practice being conducted in the company that an employee feels is unjust or unfair should be taken care by such a branch of an employee engagement program. A violation in labor law or human rights, malpractices of any kind or organization’s policies  falls under this category.Women employees can be made to  know their rights and can voice out their issues through an open door policy called Protection against Sexual Harassment or POSH. An open door policy enables the grieved employee to meet a top leader for discussing a case of  harassment. Such policies are playing a key role to make the working atmosphere balanced and neutral for all genders and is bringing about diversity.

4. Improved Employee loyalty

In a competitive  era, when companies want talents to be retained at an increasing cost, winning the loyalty of a workforce is key. 

Numbers and reviews have shown that employee engagement has a direct effect to preserve the talent pool. Flexjobs reported in 2018 that while 78% millennial remain loyal if flexibility is provided, 70% actually switched due to its absence while only half of Gen X quitted for the same reason. Benefits’ easy access makes a big factor here. If the benefits are available but not easily accessible to the employees, the engagement and loyalty drop. 81% of employees feel a sense of loyalty if the perks are accessible easily while 79% take pride to work for such organizations.

In a study,52% employees feel their loyalty would be recognized by the employers and would be repaid.

Indirect Benefits 

1. Improved Organization’s reputation

“Happy employees become brand ambassadors of the organization”

People these days do not shy away from talking about their organization on social media or with their friends. Their opinions cannot be controlled or monitored. However, organizations can definitely try to reduce the gap between what the employees say versus what they want them to say and this can be achieved by keeping the employees happy in  the first place.

According to a Gallup study, 71% of the times people apply for jobs are via referrals from current employees of a company.When the employees are happy and satisfied, they will become the brand ambassadors of the companies and will encourage people to become a part of the same organization by  sharing news about the various open positions. This will attract good talent for the organization and the positivity will pass on from current to new employees spreading a good reputation for the organization.

2. Improved customer loyalty

Engaged employees will work with more enthusiasm and zeal. Such members will put their 100% efforts in cracking deals and bringing on-board more clienteles. Every interaction that they have with clients or prospects will be in favor of the organization. This will further lead to better customer experience and eventually, improve customer loyalty.

According to a Hay Group Study report, engaged employees help the organization grow in revenue twice as much as those with lower engagement levels.

Engaged Employees thus, are proven to provide better consumer service,  better brand experience to the clients andare more consumer focused.

3. Higher CSAT scores

Organizations with more engaged employees have a better CSAT score. Studies have shown that employee engagement and customer engagement is directly proportional. Customer satisfaction is crucial to the growth of any business. An angry social media post by a customer can cause irreversible damage to any organization. On the other hand, satisfied customers become the brand ambassadors of any organization, which helps in increasing its brand value.         

4. Drives business results

  • Better sales and growth: Engaged employees provide better customer service and hence,, succeeds in driving better sales and growth. Organizations with engaged employees see an average of 20% higher sales than the ones with more disengaged employees.

  • Increased profitability: Organizations with engaged employees have a 21% higher profitability than the disengaged ones. Engaged employees will drive better sales growth and hence increase profitability. This will give an upward trajectory to the organization.

  • Higher Stock Price: According to Engagement-Profit chain, engaged employees lead to a higher stock price.

Drive Business Results
  • Higher innovation- When employees will be better involved in the workplace, they will put their best foot forward in achieving better results. Such employees will also keep an eye on the competitors in the market and try to be a notch higher than them. This will lead to a higher innovation in work and with the help of unique and new ideas, engaged employees will help in achieving greater amounts of success.  

5. Better company culture

A happy workforce works with an extra dollop of enthusiasm. An open environment free of formal salutations helps people analyze their value addition to the company and such a culture would never get stale or unprogressive.

A diverse staff, open door policies, flexible arrangements, and inclusive culture—all these together make the culture at work highly motivating. The workers would not let go the diversity initiatives unappreciated and discussed outside the workplace. The last decade has seen specially arranged walk-in drives for female candidates returning after a break and focused job profiles for differently abled workforce too. Such inclusive workspace always garners praises.

Jobvite survey in 2018 stated that 32% of new hires stated their company culture as a driving factor to quit the job within 90 days of their joining. While 46% of job seekers claimed company culture to be important, approximately 50% of the married employees would stick to the job owing to be amid a good work culture.

6. Lower attrition and Improved retention rates

The competition to acquire talent has increased over the year, thus escalating turnover and hence retention is hitting unexpectedly low. It is more crucial in the time of learned and highly competitive workforce to keep the employees glued to the organization.

A survey states that 47% of HR executives cite that employee retention and attrition is the top most challenge. Recruitment is another challenging aspect of their job. IBM quoted that positive employee experience resulted in an engaged workforce and has an output with lower turnover intentions.

7. Increased productivity

The engagement process ultimately helps in thriving on productivity, for both employees and the firms. An engaged employee is deliberate to offer his best efforts out of satisfaction and cares more for the organization offering improved service and a productive mind, which generate ideas and innovations. All these lead to organizational benefits in one way or more.

To leverage productivity, flexibility and digitization are two main factors, studies have shown. The environment being digitized and techno-savvy is helping 73% employees to be more productive while outmoded versions of the platforms got 45% of the employees complaining about marred productivity. Most of the workforce prefers an automated environment and expects highly smart office space in the coming years to elevate their efficiency.

8. Higher attendance

An engaged employee would hardly find a self-initiated reason to miss office. When the work environment is favorable, they feel motivated and happy and when the employee experience is satisfactory, attendance is not a serious matter for the companies to mull at. One of the top agenda of an employee engagement process is to reduce the office blues, mid-week boredom and completely work-loaded weekends and holidays. Absenteeism simply equates with dissatisfaction. Another driving factor for an unavailable employee is stress. But an engaged and motivated employee makes them available even post work hours for a much-needed call, and sometimes at weekends.

For example, a manufacturing company ranked among the top 100 stated that their highly engaged teams have an average of 4.8% absenteeism as compared to the low engaged teams.

Part 04

Why hire a partner for Employee engagement?

The purpose of an employee engagement program is to shoot up the numbers of engaged employees and then to gauge the effectiveness of the program, change in the satisfaction level, decrease in attrition and increase in growth.

But if the program has a flaw, or it misses the purpose, the complete package crumbles down to dirt with a waste of financial and effort investment. A partnership with a firm expert in employee engagement packages and measuring the aftermath is a clear-cut solution—not straining at all. These results would be convincing enough:

  • Expertise matters
    The partners bring to the table, result oriented, research-based programs owing to the expertise. The quantitative approach with the right key drivers works faster than any internally designed process.
  • Anonymity drives more trust
    The vendor being an outsider garners heightened positive response from the employees towards the program. Psychologically, the external force implementing the engagement project will gather more trust from the employees too because of anonymity.
  • Biasing is acidic
    Because the partner is an outsider, their programs and surveys are not faced with bias by the employees. Biasing is acidic for such programs and may result in inaccurate results. Because the vendor is not an internal stakeholder, they only care for the betterment. So, their results tend to accuracy.
  • Deliverables shift the focus
    Organizations have their priorities including management, project deliveries, hiring and handling attrition. When focus changes, employee engagement program and effectiveness may take a backseat with the increased workload. So, third-party vendors should be consulted whose complete focus is the engagement techniques.

Part 05

How Xoxoday can help organizations?

Employee Engagement has become the necessity for organizations and in such a case, looking out for unique and attractive programs for engagement is the need of the hour. Various research studies are being carried out to bring out the most effective employee engagement strategies. A new add on to this field is the rewards and recognition program which not only creates excitement but motivates the employees in the right direction too. 

Below are some ways by which Xoxoday can help organizations in arranging seamless and efficient Employee Engagement programs-

  • Xoxoday SaaS Enterprise platform encapsulates the ways to engage and reward the employees via one single platform.
  • Other than reward and recognition process, the package is a one stop shop for employee insurance, personal loan, medical services etc. with three products which aim at bridging the communication gaps between their clients and the employees.
  • The first product, Employee Happiness product, is designed specifically for increasing the happiness quotient among the employees by tracking their goals, KRA and other such similar metrics pertaining to an incentivization cycle. The product also features the feedback system that enables to act upon smoothly and quickly, peer-to-peer rewarding, motivation via real time.
How Xoxoday can help organizations?
  • Recognition and social appreciation.
  • The second product leverages channel collaboration by channel monitoring and remuneration management and enables swift communication with the channel partners.
  • The third offering called Storefront helps in easy integration and usage of rewards and recognition suite, which encompasses plenty of experience and gift vouchers.

Intrigued to know more? Take an action now for the betterment of your workforce by -

  • Downloading the app of Xoxoday at AppleStore or GoogleStore and start exploring.
  • Visiting the Xoxoday store to see the wide array of our online offerings.
  • Dropping us a mail at business@xoxoday.com to get a customized solution for your organization.
  • Scheduling a demo with us to understand, what Xoxoday has in store for you.
  • Or contacting us by simply filling the contact form.
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