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Five Signs Your Employees are Engaged

A Gallup study that has been trending in the news found that companies with engaged employees have 23% higher profits compared with business units with miserable workers. It got us thinking – how can you identify who is engaged at work and who is not?  Are they only the high performers? Are they the most vocal? In an evolving world of hybrid/remote work, the rules are rewritten completely. Without knowing what an “engaged” employee looks like, you could be missing early signs of disengagement. Here are 5 signs of an engaged employee:

1. They are well-known across multiple areas in the organization (however big or small).

Engaged employees often talk about the discoveries they have made with individuals from across the organization, even if their day-to-day priorities do not necessarily require them to interact with a variety of stakeholders. In other words, they have taken the initiative to lean into their curiosity and unpack problems. Doing so means they are proactively meeting with others, forming connections, and sharing ideas. In meetings, you will often find their names thrown around again and again. 

2. They are the expert in something important. 

A financial model/analysis that everyone leverages? A piece of market research that has been forwarded 20 times? A key customer metric that is part of your company’s quarterly reports? An engaged employee has abundant ownership, which manifests in high-quality deliverables that are “cited” again and again. 

3. They have executed a test to confirm a hypothesis, and it has been noticed (news flash: they are wrong sometimes).

Because engaged employees are always thinking about multiple solutions to a problem, they are overflowing with ideas. An engaged employee doesn’t only think, however, but also acts. You may have recently noticed a change in your business results (e.g. customer sign-ups) or in something that was previously customary or routine. That is because the employee probably had a hypothesis they wanted to test. Ideally, they have shared this hypothesis in advance, received approval, and are right! But, even in the absence of taking these steps, their actions should be celebrated. Engaged employees take risks and have a bias for action.

4. They execute solutions to problems not even on your radar.

Eventually, engaged employees realize that their work is interconnected with broader challenges in the organization. When they explain how they solved a problem on their plate, they also share two or three related problems they solved along the way. 

5. They are abundantly reliable. 

An engaged employee may be satisfied doing the job they are doing for the rest of their career. Or, they may have ambitions to get promoted or take on a different challenge. Regardless, you never second guess or worry about completion or quality of work. Bottom line – if it is their responsibility, it will get done.