World Mental Health Day 2023: Fostering a Sense of Purpose and Connection in the Workplace  

World Mental Health Day 2023: Fostering a Sense of Purpose and Connection in the Workplace  

Imagine a bustling workplace filled with employees who are motivated, energized, and passionately committed to their tasks. Sounds like a dream, right? For many employers, it remains just that—a distant dream. The truth is disengagement and lack of purpose plague companies, stifling productivity and hindering growth.  

However, by deliberately nurturing a work environment that emphasizes purpose and connection, employers can unlock the full potential of their team, keeping them engaged and motivated. 

What Is Employee Engagement? 

Employee engagement is when employees are emotionally and psychologically connected to their responsibilities, the organization, and its goals, bringing passion, dedication, and commitment to their jobs.  

It’s like that special feeling you get when you attach to something important: a family, a hobby, or even an inspiring film. Employees do not just show up and physically fulfill the task but are actually excited about the value they bring to the company.  

When employees are engaged at work, they’re in the zone. They love what they do and feel like they’re part of something bigger. It’s no longer just about a paycheck; it’s about finding meaning and being driven to tackle new challenges. 

Why Does It Matter? 

It matters simply because it benefits both employer and employee! Who wouldn’t want that from their organization? Employee engagement is essential in the workplace for many reasons. 

1. Increased Employee Productivity 

In Gitnux’s report, Gallup found out that employees who lack engagement exhibit a substantial 37 percent increase in absenteeism, an 18 percent decrease in productivity, and a significant 15 percent decline in profitability.¹ 

On the other hand, engaged employees are like superheroes in the productivity department. They bring their A-game, going above and beyond to get stuff done. With their motivation and focus, they can move mountains and make the company more efficient. Ka-pow!

2. Better Employee Retention Rate 

When employees are engaged, they become company cheerleaders. They form an emotional bond with their work and colleagues, creating meaningful connections with the whole organization.  

In the end, they are more satisfied with their stay. They stick around and remain fiercely loyal to your company. No more running off to greener pastures! 

3. Improved Job Satisfaction 

Ever heard of the term “quiet quitting”? Well, this happens when employees don’t fully express their dissatisfaction about their jobs but are unwilling to put in their best work.  

On the flip side, engaged employees are happier campers. They feel like they matter and that their efforts are appreciated. This boosts job satisfaction and makes them less likely to bail on the company. So, lower turnover rates and fewer recruitment headaches—score! 

4. Better Customer Service 

Here’s a cool bonus: highly engaged employees are customer service champs. They go above and beyond to make customers happy. Satisfied customers often lead to customer loyalty, and who doesn’t want that?  

According to Gitnux, in the same report, 86 percent of organizations with high employee engagement attested to the claim that a committed workforce plays a vital role in fostering customer loyalty. That’s what happens when you have a team of engaged superstars on your side. 

5. Increased Innovation and Creativity 

Employee engagement can help you bring more innovation to the table. Engaged employees are full of awesome ideas and aren’t afraid to share them.  

Collaboration and risk-taking become the norm, fostering a workplace culture full of creativity and continuous improvement. 

6. Higher Employee Morale 

Engaged employees generally experience higher levels of morale and psychological well-being.  

They have a sense of purpose, pride, and accomplishment in their work. This positive morale translates into a more harmonious workplace, fostering teamwork, cooperation, and positive employee relationships. 

7. Positive Company Culture 

Engaged employees don’t just make the workplace awesome—they make the company shine! They become advocates for the organization, spreading positive word-of-mouth and attracting other talented individuals. 

Their positive vibes create a stellar organization that’s like a magnet for the best and brightest potential employees. Who wouldn’t want to be part of such an incredible team? 

8. Better Financial Performance 

Engaged organizations tend to outperform their competitors, experiencing higher profitability, revenue growth, and shareholder returns.  

According to the same research, Gallup found that organizations in the top quartile of employee engagement observed a notable 21 percent increase in profitability. 

7 Signs That Employees Are Not Engaged With Their Jobs 

If you feel like you’re not getting the best out of your employees and their engagement level is probably low, they might be disconnected from the organization. Here are a few clues to watch out for: 

1. Zombie Mode 

  • Do you notice employees dragging themselves to work with zero enthusiasm?  
  • Are their eyes glazed over, and do they move as if they’re in slow motion? 

2. Clock Watchers 

Are your employees constantly checking the time and counting down the minutes until they can escape?  

If they’re anxiously waiting for the day to end, they might be more engaged with their favorite TV show’s plot twists than their work. 

3. Silent Crickets 

Have the office chatter and lively banter suddenly disappeared? If your once vibrant workplace has turned into a quiet library, it can indicate that employees lack interest in their surroundings. 

4. Apathetic Attitude 

When employees start shrugging their shoulders and responding with a nonchalant “whatever” or “okay” to challenges or new initiatives, it’s time to take notice. 

5. Frequent Escapes 

  • Are employees calling in sick more often than they used to?  
  • Do they seem to take every opportunity for a day off or an extended lunch break?  

Excessive absenteeism can be a sign that employees are looking for ways to avoid the workplace, seeking solace elsewhere. 

6. Creativity Black Hole 

Remember those innovative ideas that used to flow like a fountain? Well, if you’re suddenly stuck in a creativity desert, it could mean your employees have lost their spark.  

7. High Turnover 

Have you noticed a steady stream of employees leaving for other opportunities? This is already a strong indicator that your team is disengaged and seeking greener pastures. 

How Can You Improve Employee Engagement? 

Here are some tried-and-true employee engagement strategies to help you create a motivated and passionate workforce: 

1. Cultivate a positive culture. 

Encourage open communication, collaboration, and recognition. Create an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and supported. When people feel good about coming to work, engagement naturally follows. 

2. Provide growth and development opportunities. 

Many professionals are hungry for growth. Offer training programs, workshops, and opportunities for professional development. Support employees in acquiring new skills and advancing their careers within the organization.  

3. Recognize and reward achievement. 

Never underestimate the power of recognition and appreciation. Acknowledge and celebrate your employees’ hard work, achievements, and milestones. Implement a recognition program that includes formal and informal methods, like shout-outs, rewards, and team celebrations. 

4. Foster a healthy work-life balance. 

Encourage employees to take breaks, use their vacation time, and prioritize self-care. Offer flexible work arrangements when possible. When they’re actually encouraged to take breaks, they’ll be able to appreciate their workdays better and be more productive as they accomplish their tasks. 

5. Promote autonomy and empowerment. 

Give your employees a sense of ownership and control over their work. Trust them to make decisions, contribute their ideas, and take the initiative.  

6. Improve communication channels. 

Enhance communication within the organization. Provide regular updates, share information transparently, and encourage two-way communication. Consider implementing tools like internal social platforms or regular team meetings to foster engagement and keep everyone in the loop. 

7. Encourage collaboration and teamwork. 

Encourage cross-functional collaboration, team projects, and knowledge sharing. Create opportunities for employees to work together, exchange ideas, and learn from one another, driving innovation and creativity. 

8. Lead by example. 

Employee engagement starts at the top. To inspire your employees, demonstrate the behaviors you want to see by showing enthusiasm, being approachable, and actively engaging with your team. 

9. Celebrate and have fun. 

Lastly, don’t forget to inject some fun into the workplace! Organize team-building activities, celebrate milestones and achievements, and create a positive and enjoyable workplace. When employees enjoy their work and have fun, engagement naturally flourishes. 

How to Measure Employee Engagement 

Measuring employee engagement levels helps you understand their perspectives and track progress. Here are several methods and tools you can use to measure employee engagement: 

1. Employee Engagement Survey 

Use well-designed questionnaires covering various engagement aspects to know more about their satisfaction, motivation, communication, growth opportunities, and overall employee engagement. We like the Gallup Q12 methodology here at Portfolio Creative, so we would recommend you check that one out if you’re looking for a framework.²

2. Pulse Surveys 

These are short surveys that capture real-time feedback in quick intervals by asking key questions; it can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly. 

3. One-On-One Interviews 

Private conversations bring out the real deal insights and build a trusty bond between you and your team.  

  • How’s their work? 
  • Is anything troubling them? 
  • How was their week? 

4. Absenteeism and Turnover Rates 

High absenteeism or a sudden surge in turnover might indicate some disengagement issues that need attention. 

5. Track Key Performance Indicators (KPI) 

Look at productivity metrics, customer satisfaction ratings, and other KPIs that can indirectly reflect employee engagement.  

BUILD AN ENGAGED WORKFORCE WITH THE RIGHT SET OF EMPLOYEES  

Now that you know how meaningful employee engagement is, it’s time to bring the right candidates to your team and create a workplace environment that fosters engagement and connection. 

Portfolio Creative can match your company’s culture with the right employees. By helping you tap into our vast marketing and creative talent network, we can dig deep to find candidates suitable for your business needs, whether project-based or long-term hires.  

We’ve got you! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help. 

References 

1. Baruffati, Alexandra. “Employee Engagement Statistics 2023: How It Affects Your Business” Gitnux, 20 May 2023, https://blog.gitnux.com/employee-engagement-statistics/. 

2. “Gallup’s Employee Engagement Survey: Ask the Right Questions With the Q12® Survey” Gallup,  www.gallup.com/gallup-q12-employee-engagement-survey. 31 Jul. 2023.