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Gallup: Engagement Boosts Employee Retention

Focusing on team members produces measurable benefits, not just the warm fuzzies

Woman on tablet PC smiling

Creating workplaces full of engaged, fulfilled employees is not just a utopian fantasy. More global businesses today are trying to achieve that outcome, according to a recent report from Gallup

While some may be driven by altruistic motives, others may prioritize financial benefits. Most likely, the majority seek both fiscal and moral rewards—and why not? If organizations can feel good and do good, everybody wins. 

The price of not doing the right thing is extensive.

Employees who are not engaged or who are “actively disengaged” cost worldwide organizations $7.8 trillion in lost productivity alone, Gallup’s “State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report,” found. This represents 11% of the world’s GDP, Gallup, said.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of staff fall into this category.

Last year, about 80% of the world’s workforce did not feel engaged at their jobs. At the high point of engagement, only 22% of the workforce was engaged, and that was back in 2019.

Clearly there’s a lot of work to be done. 

What’s the big deal?

If practically nobody’s employees are engaged, then what difference does it make to your team and organization? How much impact can improving engagement and helping your team members thrive really have on the bottom line?

A lot.

Individual business units with engaged employees are almost 25% more profitable than departments with unengaged employees in the same company, Gallup said. These individuals are also healthier, said Gallup’s Claire de Carteret, Director of Business and Learning Solutions, EMEA, in a webinar.

“When employees are engaged and they’re thriving, they experience significantly less stress, anger, and health problems,” she said. “Employees who are engaged at work—but not thriving—have 61% higher likelihood to experience ongoing burnout. And remembering that data point, there’s only 9% of people across the world who are thriving.”

Sticking around

Satisfied employees are also less likely to leave. Hiring and retention is a top concern for many executives across most vertical markets and geographies. 

In fact, only 29.1% of IT workers had a “high intent” to stay with their current jobs, according to a global report Gartner released in March 2022. “CIOs who adopt a human-centric work design will out-hire, out-retain, and out-perform those who revert to industrial-era work paradigms,” said Graham Waller, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, in a press release. 

While compensation has surged—especially in IT—it cannot continue to skyrocket, said Heather Barrett, Managing Consultant at Gartner. For one, businesses will price themselves out of the market, she said. 

Engaged, thriving employees are less likely to leave in search of higher pay alone; they are more likely to be motivated by challenges, opportunities, and good management, she said. 

Technology can help

There are multiple components to fostering engagement and well-being—human resources, management training and support, ongoing employee education, and more. But CIO leadership and technology are critical, both in their immediate spheres of influence and across the organization. 

In addition to building their own empathy and transparency, and fostering an environment of respect, CIOs can nurture employee well-being and engagement by:

  • Reducing time-consuming and repetitive tasks through automation, AI, and machine learning
  • Implementing dashboards that rapidly inform stakeholders about problems and metrics in areas such as network performance, well-being and engagement, and more
  • Creating a hybrid workplace that empowers teams to work anywhere, via any device, seamlessly and securely
  • Offering high-speed, reliable connectivity, from any place
  • Leveraging the cloud to proactively mitigate issues and enhance business planning, improving business resiliency to cut customer support issues and stress on service teams, and modernizing onboarding to create a better experience for users

These steps can help an organization on its path to improving how employees feel about their lives, at work and beyond—about their jobs and employers, their roles and future possibilities, and what they do with the hours they spend at the keyboard each day. 

Most of us are somebody’s employee. Surely we all want to be motivated and engaged, working for an organization that is good to work for and with. CIOs can leverage innovations like analytics, IoT, and the cloud to cultivate employee engagement and promote the ability to thrive in workplaces they enjoy. As a result, both businesses and teams benefit. That’s no pipe dream.