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InfoQ Homepage News Agile Companies Have Higher Employee Engagement

Agile Companies Have Higher Employee Engagement

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The Business Agility Institute has released a whitepaper which summarises research into employee engagement. They concluded that high levels of employee engagement have a direct correlation with success in the volatile marketplace, from greater talent attraction and retention to greater innovation, profitability and production. They also show that organisations with high levels of agile maturity have a 25% higher Glassdoor rating (4.1 vs 3.3).

Evan Leybourn, founder and CEO of the Business Agility Institute, said of the research:

Do mature agile organisations have higher employee engagement than other organisations? It might seem obvious, but no one could point us to data that proved this hypothesis in either direction. And so, this innocuous question started an in-depth research programme to explore, not only the answer to the question, but just what does employee engagement mean anyway? Over the course of six months, the Business Agility Institute pulled together a team of seven researchers from around the world to get to the bottom of employee engagement; why it matters, and how to improve retention, job satisfaction, and personal ownership and pride for current and prospective employees.

The report cites Gallop research which shows the benefits of higher employee engagement:

  • 17 percent higher productivity
  • 21 percent higher profitability
  • 10 percent higher customer metrics
  • 41 percent lower absenteeism
  • 24 percent lower turnover for high-turnover organizations
  • 59 percent lower turnover for low-turnover organizations
  • 28 percent less shrinkage
  • 70 percent fewer employee safety incidents
  • 40 percent fewer quality incidents (defects)

The paper provides advice on things leaders can do that enhance employee engagement and programs that can be implemented to foster engagement. The full report can be accessed here.

Similar research from Rise lists "25 Fascinating Statistics About Employee Engagement" that covers points such as:


  1. 36% of businesses see engagement as a top challenge. (Globoforce)
  2. 78% of companies have a documented employee engagement strategy and nearly 50% measure success. (Maritz Motivation)
  3. Organizations with high employee engagement outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%. (Business2Community)
  4. 37% of engaged employees are looking for jobs or are open to new opportunities, as are 56% of not engaged employees and 73% of actively disengaged employees. (Gallup)
  5. Disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually. (The Engagement Institute)

A Forbes article summarised the "10 Shocking Workplace Stats You Need To Know", most of which are about how managers don’t appear to understand their workforce, and as a result they are often the cause of employee disengagement. Number 10 on that list is:

Recognition is the number one thing employees say their manager could give them to inspire them to produce great work. Global studies prove that when it comes to inspiring people to be their best at work, nothing else comes close—not even higher pay, promotion, autonomy or training.

An IBM whitepaper looks at a way to measure Employee Experience and the impact it has on organisational outcomes.

Now we are entering the cognitive era. It is a time when work can be a more rewarding experience for employees.

The factors that make up the IBM index are:

  • Belonging – feeling part of a team, group or organization
  • Purpose – understanding why one’s work matters
  • Achievement – a sense of accomplishment in the work that is done
  • Happiness – the pleasant feeling arising in and around work
  • Vigor – the presence of energy, enthusiasm and excitement at work

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