Employee engagement is a crucial business strategy   

8 January 2024

BY PETER ØSTERGAARD, CO-CEO, DELEGATE

High employee engagement shows a healthy organization where employees buy into the company's direction and goals. With the current skills shortage, the ability of companies to create and maintain a good connection with their employees is more critical than ever before.  

That's why it's remarkable that Gallup's annual State of the Global Workplace Report 2023 shows that Denmark only scores 20% on Employee Engagement. This figure is worryingly low compared to Romania, which scores 35 percent, the highest in Europe, and Denmark is even below the global average of 23 percent.  

The statistic highlights a critical area that requires attention, especially in an industry like IT, where proactivity is essential to drive innovative solutions and business results. Companies can no longer just evaluate themselves on the financial bottom line alone; employee engagement is now one of the pillars of a strong organization.  

"At Delegate, our focus on employees is greater than our focus on customers. If our employees feel respected and recognized, we believe they will be happy to come to work. And if you're happy and engaged when you go to work, you'll do a good job, which means satisfied customers. We describe this as our employee and customer promise, with the employee promise having first priority."  

Peter Østergaard
Co-CEO, Delegate

Employee motivation rubs off on the customer experience 

At Delegate, our focus on employees is greater than our focus on customers. If our employees feel respected and recognized, we believe they will be happy to come to work. And if you're happy and engaged when you go to work, you'll do a good job, which means satisfied customers. We describe this as our employee and customer promise, with the employee promise having first priority.  

That's why we've conducted weekly well-being and engagement surveys since 2015, and the frequent measurements allow us to monitor employee satisfaction about, for example, work pressure and tasks, work/life balance, collaboration with colleagues, and purpose at work. We can see where there may be challenges and act quickly, and we pride ourselves on having an employee engagement score of 8.3 out of 10 over a long period.  

However, surveys are only valuable if we, as leaders, make sure that the input is reviewed and follow up on employee responses and read all the written feedback that comes back on a weekly basis. If employees don't feel that the feedback from the surveys is being acted upon actively and constructively, the surveys are useless, and no one will devote the time to provide feedback.    

Leadership is crucial  

In shaping employee engagement, the influence of leadership is undeniable. Leaders are at the heart of this effort, acting not just as managers but as the key catalysts for an engaged team. Leaders must set the stage, inspire, and motivate everyone to be their best and true version of themselves.

Good leaders should be engaged, leading by example, and keeping the lines of communication open, especially during change. They create an environment where everyone feels valued and part of the bigger picture. It's clear, then, that employee engagement starts and thrives under strong, authentic leadership. Setting the scene for the organization's leadership is, of course, easy; the hard part is to do it and remember this in good and bad times.   

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