Gallup Organization has been looking at employee engagement for many years. They’ve famously found that only a small percentage of our workforce is actively engaged at their jobs. Often, company discussions about people policies center around employee well-being as an underlying principle driving HR policies. Wellbeing refers to perqs like vacation time, flextime, and so on.

I just read this Gallup research summary that asks: Should a company put effort into employee wellbeing policies, or into employment engagement policies? It turns out to be easy to answer: the greatest driver of wellbeing is employee engagement, not perqs. The research shows that engaged employees perform far better than non-engaged employees, even if those non-engaged employees are given a lot of workplace perqs (e.g. more vacation time, etc.).

Also interesting, though not mentioned in the conclusion, is that flextime is also tremendously important. Having engaged employees and giving them flextime gives the greatest boost to wellbeing.

I know when I’m engaged, my whole life seems better. Next time you’re wondering how to improve workplace morale, instead ask how you can help improve engagement. That answer might change your entire culture.

Engaged employees perform best.

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