Does employee engagement really matter?

employee engagement
John McElwee By John McElwee, Total People Solutions

1 July 2015

John McElwee, Director of Total People Solutions, shares why employee engagement is important to accountancy practices, ahead of the ICAS Practitioners' Conference.    

Employee engagement is a term that has been widely used in private business and government sectors for a number of years. Yet many business professionals remain confused about its application. 

Instinctively, we know that we should try to keep employees engaged, but what does that mean in practice?  And, more importantly, what impact will employee engagement have in reality? 

The evidence

The recent Engage for Success, supported by the UK Government, outlined overwhelming evidence on the impact that an 'engaged' workforce can have on an organisation's overall performance.

When comparing companies with highly engaged employees, they discovered that these organisations displayed the following results: 

  • Twice the annual net profit
  • 2.5 x greater revenue growth
  • 12% higher customer advocacy
  • 40% reduction in employee turnover
  • 18% higher productivity 
  • 30% reduction in absence levels

So employee engagement, which at one time was considered intangible, now has undisputed evidence as to its value.  

The reality is that employee engagement has a significant impact on a company's bottom line. Despite this, studies have shown that only one in five employees are actually 'engaged'.

It's time to ask yourself, where would your organisation sit within this group?

Achieving employee engagement

Our experience working across numerous organisations demonstrates that over complication of the topic is a common problem that often leads to confusion and therefore little action. 

At its core, achieving high employee engagement is delivered through three key elements:

  • Strong leadership
  • Articulating clear organisational values
  • Giving employees a voice in what direction the organisation takes.

These elements all help to build the culture of empowerment that is so often the bedrock of a highly engaged workforce.  Big topics, but there can be simple steps.  

If you're now thinking of how you can have a competitive edge, my colleague Jenny Wallage and I will be sharing our experiences at the ICAS Practitioners Conference and convincing you as to 'why' you need to bother and 'how' you can best approach this in your workplace.  

We will demonstrate that engagement impacts both current and potential employees throughout the entire employee lifecycle - positively impacting on your existing employees and re-energising how you attract high calibre individuals into your workplace.  

We'll be talking about this and much more at the ICAS Practitioners' Conference on 9 September 2015 in Glasgow.


  • Practice hub
  • CA Practitioner Service (CAPS)

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