How important is employee engagement?

Engaged employees are often willing to go the extra mile for their company, driven by passion and a profound connection that motivates them to desire success. In the small teams of SMEs, employee engagement is therefore a vital force.

Assessing engagement

  • The really positive stuff first: 88.7 per cent of UAE-based workers say they have a good understanding of the mission and goals of their organisation, and 95 per cent understand how their work directly contributes to the company’s overall success. A huge majority (93 per cent) also feel they are involved in decisions that impact their work.
  • 57.1 per cent of UAE employees believe that their company’s management makes job satisfaction a top priority.
  • 70.5 per cent feel that their manager values the skills and the contributions the employee makes to the company.
  • 80.4 per cent feel their company does a good job of addressing poor performance.
  • Interestingly 76.4 per cent strongly believe that it’s employees who are responsible for achieving goals, while fewer (64 per cent) also hold senior management accountable.
  • While 65.4 per cent of employees feel they have all the resources they need to do a good job, 34.6 per cent feel they need extra resources to help their job performance improve.
  • 70 per cent of employees believe that communications channels are open within their company.
  • A majority (60.6 per cent) strongly agree that their company measures job performance in a way that is fair to all staff, with an additional fifth (19.6 per cent) somewhat agreeing to this. Just more than half (52.2 per cent) say that they ‘always’ receive feedback to help improve their performance, while 34.2 per cent think feedback is given ‘sometimes’. Almost half (49.7 per cent) of regional professionals have regular career discussions with their manager, whereas 32.3 per cent have the same on an irregular basis.

Knowing the benefits
Healthy employee engagement, that matches or betters the statistics given above, has been proven to have considerable knock-on benefits too. For example:

  • It can make you more profitable. Companies with extensive engagement programmes make 44% more profit than those that don’t have a programme. (Source: Human Capital Institute).
  • It can make your people more productive. If they’re engaged, 81% of MENA employees enjoy work. If disengaged, this drops to 45%. Naturallly you want the happy employees: they’re 12% more productive than unhappy ones. (Sources: Gallup, University of Warwick).
  • It can cut staff turnover costs. Disengaged employees are seven more times more likely than engaged employees to leave within a year. (Source: Right Management)
  • It can cut absenteeism costs. Disengaged employees are twice as likely as engaged employees to be ill. (Source: Gallup).
  • It can cut recruitment costs. Word of mouth/advocacy is a great (and cheap) way to recruit. So it’s striking that 67% of engaged employees are likely to recommend their company, compared to just 3% of disengaged employees. (Source: Melcrum).
  • (Source: ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA’,


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