How your company’s reputation can benefit employee engagement
By: Allie Carson
The reputation of your company can have a significant impact on how engaged your employees are.
A company’s reputation and employee engagement are possibly more tightly linked than we may have thought. Companies with fully engaged employees are most likely to have the greatest reputations.
According to Gallup, companies that scored the highest on employee engagement demonstrated 21% higher levels of profitability than companies in the lowest quartile. These companies also enjoyed a much better public image.
Experts predict that the reputation of the company in society and the commitment of the employees are two immensely complex areas that will become a key priority for HR and team leaders in the coming years. But how are these two related? Well, let us find out in the following segments.
How does employee engagement affect a company’s reputation?
An increasing number of companies spend millions of dollars on campaigns each year to promote their brand and services. However, the honest reputation of your brand and businesses is most strongly conveyed by your people and their behaviors. In other words, employee engagement is a key driving factor for a company’s reputation.
To fully understand the connection, let us begin with a baseline for what employee engagement really stands for. Essentially, employee engagement is the level of connection and dedication employees feel toward the organization and the work that they do. Motivation and commitment are key factors of engagement, and they only exist when employees are truly aligned with the goals and values of the company. Transparency, strong communication, and resources play a huge role in how employees feel about their company.
Moving on, when employees are engaged, they are much more likely to talk positively about your company. On the other hand, dissatisfied employees are likely to express their discontent with their friends or family, post negatively on social media, or even complain in other public ways about their work-related stress. And all this severely brings down the company’s public image and reputation.
According to Kay Phelps, the esteemed director of PR in HR, “there is a massive impact of employee engagement on a company’s reputation. If the employees are engaged, they are much more likely to spread constructive thoughts around your brand, may it be via their social media or word of mouth.”
Today, online platforms are the most commonly used place where employees can freely air out their experiences with a particular company, whether it is positive or negative. And as per a survey by Glassdoor, as many as 86% of job seekers research company reviews and ratings online before applying for a job.
Therefore, negative employee reviews and remarks hugely hurt the perception of prospective hires. Additionally, it discourages many customers from doing business with that company.
If the employees are engaged, feel listened to, and are happy with management, they will most likely go to them first with a problem instead of heading online to air their opinions.
ResearchGate conducted a study to examine employee engagement and its link to corporate reputation.
The study surveyed as many as 509 employees of a renowned South African bank. The experts analyzed all the accumulated data using Structural Equation Modeling. The results obtained confirmed that corporate reputation perceptions are a significant predictor of employee engagement.
Other crucial impacts of employee engagement
Employee engagement is vital to every company for the impact it has on specific areas such as productivity, efficiency, profitability, innovation, and overall business reputation.
Let us look at some of these aspects further and better understand how employee engagement impacts your business positively.
Secure employee retention
Employees that feel a strong connection to their company’s goals and values are much more likely to stay with you for a long time. These employees will develop a strong emotional connection to the business and their colleagues. Consequently, they feel driven to see every project through to completion and fulfill the company’s vision. And this drives retention rates up by a margin.
On the other hand, companies that witness a lot of turnover have a negative impact on their overall health and public image.
Enhances workplace productivity
It is no secret that engaged workers are the strongest performers. They go above and beyond not because they have to but because they want to in order to ensure project success. Whether it is for client-facing presentations or internal meetings, those who are driven and engaged will be more enthusiastic while completing tasks and providing better responses. This translates into increased workplace productivity.
Ensures happier customers
Engaged employees mean more satisfied customers. Period. Engaged employees are less likely to take leaves, are more attentive, and respond to customers in a friendly way. All this helps to boost customer experience and build long-lasting relationships with customers.
Ensures healthier employees
Harvard Business Review conducted research that pointed out that employee engagement helps to reduce healthcare costs for employees in the long run. On the other hand, a company that has a high-stress environment and low employee engagement rate spends close to 50% more on healthcare for employees. Such an environment contributes to severe health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, and a majority of workplace accidents.
Drives greater innovation
Enthusiastic employees are at their best when fully engaged. They constantly come up with new and fresh ideas to reinforce the company’s image. Since they are so involved with their work, they always find newer and innovative ways to address every task and deal with every issue.
All the above factors come together to ensure higher growth for a company. When employees are engaged, they are more likely to be highly productive which will result in an increase in profitability. Additionally, if they are fully motivated, they will generate happy customers. And happy customers are loyal and more likely to give constructive reviews and recommendations that can bring new customers on board.
Drives employee advocacy
One of the most significant benefits of employee engagement is that they naturally become company ambassadors. They feel a deep sense of pride in being a part of the company and actively promote the brand. They leave positive reviews about the company on social media platforms and talk to friends and family about their positive experiences. And with the rising influence of social media, it is the best time to make your employees your advocates.
According to Glassdoor, an employee’s voice is deemed three times more credible than the CEO’s when it comes to talking about a company, its brand value, and its working conditions. It’s time to look to your employees for their feedback and check in on your company’s reputation.