Workplace flexibility is one of the most effective ways to increase employee engagement that has a direct impact on the bottom line, according to a recent Gallup survey.

Workplace flexibility as an employee engagement strategy can be used for salaried employees through telecommuting or a compressed work week, and for hourly employees through collaborative or self-scheduling.

According to The Gallup survey, employees are more likely to be engaged and productive when given flexible work arrangements. Deloitte and Touche saved $41.5 million in retention costs by offering flexible work to their employees. What’s more, 70% of managers and 87% of employees reported that having a flexible work arrangement made a positive or very positive impact on their productivity.

The cost of replacing an employee earning just $8 per hour is $3,500 -- which is strong motivation for companies to use engagement practices that focus on retention. Gallup’s survey report states: “To win customers, and a bigger share of the marketplace, companies must first win the hearts and minds of their employees.”

Employee engagement statistics show “disengaged” most employees are at work. The Gallup survey revealed that an astounding 70% of employees are disengaged at work, while only 30% feel actively engaged or motivated. Disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy an estimated $450 billion per year.

According to Scarlett Surveys, business leaders should care about understanding the mechanics of employee engagement because this is the main reason why most engagement efforts and businesses fail. When measured correctly, engagement drivers provide management with a statistical method to maximize return on human capital (ROHC).

A study by Scarlett Surveys shows that employees classified as positively engaged have higher than average individual productivity, and remain with the company longer than disengaged employees.

Here are some more positive attributes employers can enjoy from engaged employees: the discretionary efforts of the fully engaged are of higher quality and of a more positive intensity than other less-engaged employees; their economic contributions to the business consistently exceed their employment costs; from a quality of work life perspective, positively engaged employees are often energetic and enthusiastic, which makes them more productive in group efforts and makes them enjoyable to work with and for customers to do business with.

What’s more, fully engaged employees consistently solve problems and have lower incidences of absenteeism. Maintaining a positive work environment is one of the easiest ways to increase employee engagement.

Employee engagement is often confused with employee satisfaction. According to Scarlett Surveys, satisfaction is a “minimum attitude standard established during the age of mass production to guard against militancy by identifying and removing irritants. Satisfied employees are not endeared to their employer like positively engaged employees – they’re just not angry.”

Employee engagement can’t be fixed quickly. To be sustainable and profitable, engagement must be credibly defined, scientifically measured, and diligently managed as a leadership performance requirement. 

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