Engaging workplace culture well worth the effort

Studies show strong link between engaged workers and a healthy bottom line
By Craig R. Taylor and Mara Schwartz
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/02/2008

Successfully engaging employees is, perhaps, one of the greatest challenges facing organizations. The concept of engagement, like many abstract concepts, is simple to understand yet difficult to define and measure.

Some definitions of engagement include emotional and behavioural components, such as how employees feel about their employer, its leaders and working conditions. More important than agreeing on a definition for engagement, however, is understanding the significance of employee engagement.

Employee engagement is tied directly to performance and profitability. In a 2003 study conducted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, using data from more than 360,000 employees from 41 companies, companies described as having low overall engagement lost 2.01 per cent operating margin and were down 1.38 per cent in net profit margin over a three-year period.