Commentary

Engaged employees who are treated right deliver better business results

Stan Kimer[Editor’s note: Stan C. Kimer is a retired IBM executive and former President of the North Carolina Council of Churches. He now runs a firm which offers consulting services around diversity management and training, and talent/career development. This is the second installment in a series of posts he is authoring for The Progressive Pulse].

Last month I announced that I would be writing a monthly series focused on the importance of engaging both the business community and the faith / religious community in promoting worker’s rights. I will continue this series alternating each month between the business community and faith community connection.

This month I would like to address a key value proposition for the business community to treat its employees properly and respectfully which includes providing key benefits critical to the employees’ well-being. Benefits such as paid sick days, extended family medical leave and child care assistance and family flex time are key items that low-income and single-parent families particularly need.

But how can business leaders be engaged in discussing providing these benefits? They may feel that it costs a significant amount of money and will drain profit from their own pockets. The investment return key is “employee engagement.”

What is engagement? Engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and it goals, often resulting in willingness to volunteer discretionary effort. When employees are compensated fairly including key benefits, they are indeed more engaged and committed to doing a great job for their employer.

Consulting firm EXTRAordinary! Inc. performed a study on employee engagement and the results showed:

  • Engaged employees average 27% less absenteeism than those who are disengaged.
  • Workgroups with lower engagement average 62% more accidents.
  • Higher levels of team engagement equate to 12% higher customer satisfaction score.
  • Engaged teams average 18% higher productivity and 12% higher profitability.

So before concluding that providing a living wage and offering additional benefits is spending money unnecessarily, I urge all business owners and leaders to consider these employee engagement statistics and benefits and do a realistic evaluation on the positive business results that treating employees well will bring.

3 Comments


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    May 27, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    The real issue that is missing on the post is that an engaged employee is in most cases already engaged regardless of pay and benefits. Also, an engaged employee is more likely to move up and increase his/her/it’s pay as they prove their value to the business. The tired old mantra of “increase the minimum wage” is just not an issue. Any employee who has a modicum of experience, and who shows they can do a job well is moving on from that level in good time.

  2. Stan Kimer

    May 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    This is the blog author replying to this comment. Yes, you do make a good point – many employees start on day one somewhere on the engagement scale based upon their nature and work ethic…. however, when provided with good meaningful benefits engagement, the engagement will more than likely increase from their initial engagement starting point, and if treated poorly, even initially high engaged employees will become demoralized and performance will decline.

  3. Barbara Hemhill

    May 28, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    I appreciate the statistics you provided quantifying the economic value of investing in “engaged” employees. I was disheartened when I was approached by a business owner to speak to their sales reps about strategies for increasing their productivity. When I mentioned my tagline “Accomplish Your Work and Enjoy Your Life,” the owner commented, “I just want them to get the work done.” The irony is that people who are enjoying their life will accomplish more work.

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