According to a new survey of employers conducted by TalentKeepers, employee engagement is the top concern for employers for the fourth straight year. In fact, the most recent Workplace America survey tells us that a full 82 percent of employers in the survey feel this way.

In 2015, only 14 percent of employers self-identified employee engagement as being successful, but that number nearly doubled in 2016 when 26 percent of employers said they have a successful strategy for employee engagement.

If you are in the 26 percent of doers, your reward is that you can stop reading this now. But, if you are among the 74 percent who don't believe your employee engagement plans are working well for you, please read on.

What is an engaged employee?

Engaged employees are not so head over heels about their employment that they plan on marrying the company — that would be weird. But most employees do have an emotional connection to their employers that is reflected in part by job performance.

The more engagement (positive emotional feeling) staff members have with their employers, the higher their productivity is. But that's not all.

Employee engagement influences more than productivity. Employees who express they have a strong and positive engagement experience with their employers are also more likely to:

  • Feel mentally stimulated
  • Enjoy communications and trust that goes on between employees and management
  • See the impact of their own job performance on the company
  • Take growth opportunities within the company and stay longer
  • Have pride about their company affiliation

Benefits of engaged employees

Business units in the top half of employee engagement (compared with those in the bottom half) show on the average:

  • 86 percent higher success rate on customer metrics
  • 70 percent higher success in lowering turnover
  • 70 percent higher success rate in productivity
  • 44 percent higher success rate in profitability
  • 78 percent higher success rate in safety figures

Recent research also shows companies with high employee engagement have higher returns for their company stock. Nevertheless, companies lacking an engaged workforce have other issues to deal with besides stock prices.

Effects of poor employee relationship management

According to BlackbookHR, there are eight areas where poor employee engagement (aka poor employee relationship management) can have a troubling impact on company performance:

  1. Online customer ratings
  2. Company profitability
  3. Productivity
  4. High worker turnover rates
  5. Safety incidents and infractions
  6. Theft, aka shrinkage
  7. Higher absenteeism
  8. Poor product quality (more defects)

In addition, disengaged employees often speak ill of your company when given the opportunity. They also provide poor customer service and share their bad (or alleged bad) experiences on social media sites including LinkedIn, Facebook, Glassdoor and even Yelp!

So, if you are part of the 74 percent of employers without an effective employee engagement program, don't waste any more time your company's very future could be at stake.