Gender differences in employee engagement

The cost of ignoring a gap in engagement between male and female employees is significant. Recent research revealed that highly engaged business units achieve a 21% increase in profitability.

Compensation, relationships with colleagues and managers, work-life balance and company ethos also played important roles in shaping how engaged women felt at work. Companies with strong engagement had no gap between genders. When a company gets engagement right, the whole workforce benefits substantially – as does business performance.

There are four ways that organisations can bridge the engagement gap between men and women:

1. Recognise Talent– Regardless of gender, recognise and promote great performers. Don’t disregard women who may have part time roles in the business. According to the survey, there was a 9% drop in scores between men and women when it came to feeling that their opinions were acknowledged in the workplace.
2. Genuinely engage in development – Provide development opportunities for all employees, regardless of status and gender – and use an annual appraisal process to explore those opportunities with employees.
3. Be honest about reward – Those companies which are regarded as successful have a transparent reward and recognition policy, particularly in relation to bonuses.
4. Live your values – Identifying with company objectives and aspirations is important in encouraging engagement. Senior managers should live the company values if they want others to do the same!

Businesses need to look beyond their standard practices and drive the above changes into the way that work gets done. Ensuring we make the most of all of our employees’ potential is a challenge that will involve sustained changes in how our businesses operate.

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