A recent Gallup study found that, worldwide, only 17% of employees are engaged in the workplace. Employers who don’t think this is a problem, or doesn’t impact the success of their businesses, simply haven’t done their homework or reviewed the statistics on employee engagement.

Those employee engagement statistics demonstrate unequivocally that engagement does make a difference, a big difference. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), the extent of employee engagement at a company will impact everything from productivity to performance to cost-effectiveness to ROI. In The Impact of Employee Engagement on Performance, HBR concludes:

In this rapid cycle economy, business leaders know that having a high-performing workforce is essential for growth and survival. They recognize that a highly engaged workforce can increase innovation, productivity, and bottom-line performance while reducing costs related to hiring and retention in highly competitive talent markets.

Harvard Business Review

The Importance of Employee Engagement among Women and Millennials

The companies that assign a high priority to employee engagement and are willing to embrace the organizational changes necessary to achieve it understand that changes in society are reflected in the workplace. Many of those changes involve the participation of women and millennials in the workplace. Employers can better understand how to accommodate these workers by reviewing the most recent statistics on employee engagement.

Here are 10 statistics on employee engagement that unlock the secrets to an exceptional workplace for women and millennials:

1. Fewer Women in Laborforce

Between 2000 and 2015, the percentage of women in the workforce dropped: in the final quarter of the last century, participation rates for women in the workforce rose dramatically, but they began to decline in 2000. In that year, the percentage of women in the labor force was 59.9%; in 2015, it had dropped to 56.7%.

There are many reasons for this, from female baby boomers retiring to higher college attendance rates for women. What’s clear is that employers who want to leverage this talent market need to understand what women want. For example, women on average value salary less than inclusive company culture, and place greater emphasis on work-life balance than their male counterparts.

2. Workplace Friendships

45% of women report “thriving in social wellbeing” at home compared to just 38% in the workplace: Women are more relationship-oriented than men. Studies show that when women have a best friend at work, productivity and customer loyalty increase.

3. Work-life Balance

60% of women rate work-life balance as very important: for women, who are still primary caretakers, achieving balance between jobs and home life is more important than for men. Employers must conduct research, including employee engagement surveys, to better determine what factors contribute to that balance.

4. Job Fit

66% of women feel job fit is very important, compared to 55% of men: women who don’t find that fit are more likely to look for another job. For women, job fit entails opportunities to maximize their skills. Employers concerned about turnover must better assess the extent to which their female employees are satisfied with assigned job duties.

5. Flexiblity and Employee Retention

For 53% of women, flexible hours is a “major factor” in job choice: in Kids Are a Company’s Greatest Competition, Gallup found that companies which accommodate women’s childrearing needs with flexible hours increase employee retention.

Download Employee Engagement Advice for CEOs and Executives
Download here!

6. Millennials Want Challenge

Only 29% of millennials are engaged: millennials report they’d be more engaged if they understood their jobs better and were held more accountable.

7. Millennials Are Looking Elsewhere

60% of millennials are considering another job: millennials are more willing to take calculated risks in advancing their careers than their older colleagues. Employers must find more effective strategies to engage them.

8. Mass Exodus by Millennials

Only 50% of millennials believe they’ll be with their current employer in one year: This is an alarming extension of the previous statistic. Unlike older workers, millennials are willing to make rapid changes in their careers, making it imperative for employers to address their needs today, not tomorrow.

9. Millennials Want Opportunities for Growth

Millennials who are engaged are 26% less likely to consider moving on: Companies can engage millennial workers by giving providing greater opportunities for professional and career growth and placing greater emphasis on work-life balance.

10. A Need for Meaning

60% of millennials don’t feel connected to company mission: most millennials (who make up 38% of the workforce) say their company’s mission doesn’t make them feel important. Employers must find better ways of showing millennials how their work is critical to a company’s success and its future.

Conclusion

Employee engagement is critical to business success, affecting a wide range of business outcomes, including turnover, performance, productivity, sales and return on investment. The good news is that there are proactive steps, grounded in research and the analysis of statistics on employee engagement, which companies can take to boost engagement and maximize those outcomes.

You Might Also Like:

eBook: 10 Most Recognized Employees Reveal What Keeps Them Engaged
Infographic: The Secrets to Building an Exceptional Workplace
eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Engaging Millennial Employees
Case Study: Why Managers Matter to Employee Recognition Programs

Tim Ryan