Why Employee Engagement Isn’t An Option In 2023

Employee engagement is critical.
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To get your people invested in their work, you need to make employee engagement an essential focus of yours.

If you’re here, that means you’re probably aware that 2023 is going to be another tough year for businesses, and HR specifically. You probably understand the importance of employee engagement and agree with it all, but it might be difficult to justify engagement initiatives in the wake of so many other problems to solve. 

We’re here to tell you that we think employee engagement is more important than ever and shouldn’t be an optional initiative anymore. We’ve put together a list of some of the challenges you’re already facing and more you’re going to face over the next year and how employee engagement initiatives help you solve them.

Challenges to Expect in 2023

Quiet Quitting and Burnout

Gallup says that quiet quitters make up at least 50 percent of the current workforce. That means half of all employees are disengaged and slowly doing less and less to go above and beyond, whether that means they’re just meeting expectations or even doing less than they should be. Eventually, those employees will have had enough and be gone entirely. 

A great way to combat quiet quitting among your employees is to make sure managers are engaged first. Only one in three managers are engaged at work, and when you’ve got low numbers like that, it’s no surprise that their team isn’t engaged either. Get your managers back on board with things like recognition, manager development and more. Then, train them and give them the tools to have open conversations with their team about engagement and do everything in their power to recognize and add meaning to the work their people are doing. 

Survivor Syndrome

We see news about layoffs almost every single day. And guess what? That’s not going to stop. Unfortunately, workforce reduction is an ugly reality and rears its head often. But one thing that most don’t take into account? Layoffs affect more than those laid off. Those employees that are still with your company will experience what we lovingly call Survivor Syndrome. Remaining employees might feel guilty about staying, they’ll be overwhelmed with the new influx of work they have to accommodate, they’re getting used to a new normal where their friends are no longer at work with them and more. It’s the perfect storm to create burnout and work your employees down until they throw in the towel themselves. 

To help mitigate Survivor Syndrome, be intentional about making your remaining employees feel appreciated and supported. Level expectations of the remaining team members and give them grace when they can’t take on the huge load they inherited when everyone left. Implement a recognition program (that you actually use) and get leadership bought into the idea of appreciating employees. 

Benefits of Employee Engagement

Having an engaged workforce is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your business. Here are some things you can expect when you prioritize employee engagement:

Cohesive Culture

Employee engagement is essential for creating positive cohesion in the workplace. If everyone feels appreciated, they are much more likely to feel connected to their peers and your organization. 

A cohesive culture built on engaged employees doesn’t just affect those teams that are in the office. If you’re truly connecting and engaging your employees, your company culture will spread far and wide, regardless of where they might be working from.

Increased Productivity

Engaged employees are more productive. They aren’t wasting any time at work and are intentionally focusing on the right tasks. You can probably expect higher quality in their work because they want to contribute to the bigger picture.

Higher productivity means better customer satisfaction—resulting in increased sales, repeat business and profits. Engaged employees see the point of their work and feel happy and safe doing it.

Company Loyalty

Engaged employees are more likely to show loyalty to the company they work for. This has more than one benefit for your business. It means you get to hold onto your top people, so you have a consistently reliable workforce. It means you don’t have to deal with the dips in productivity that happen when people leave. It means that you can save yourself a whole lot of money on recruitment because your turnover rates are low.

Why Does It All Matter?

No matter what, 2023 is going to be hard. It will be taxing to your organization, your employees—and yourself. By focusing on employee engagement and making it a priority in the new year, you’re setting yourself and your team up for connection and success. Employee engagement is a complex field, but it’s worth understanding it if you want to get the best results from your team.

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