The term “enablement” can have two very different connotations. The first, and more commonly used, describes behavior that is intended to resolve a specific problem, but instead exacerbates that problem. Like when it’s raining and my dog doesn’t want to go outside to do his business for fear of getting wet. I take him down the stairs, through the garage and out to a tiny patch of grass under our deck where he can go to the bathroom without getting soaked. My husband tells me all the time – I’m an enabler.

In a more positive sense, employers can influence their employees’ performance and their willingness to “go the distance” by providing the support employees need to do their work effectively. This enablement, along with a work environment that supports employees’ physical, social and emotional well-being – or energy – and employees’ attachment to the company and willingness to give discretionary effort – or engagement – creates what Towers Watson terms sustainable engagement. The global professional services company has found evidence that “validates the quantifiable relationship between levels of organizational engagement and financial performance.” In other words, “engaged employees outperform their nonengaged coworkers.”

By way of evidence, Towers Watson conducted a study of 41 global companies for which they had data on all three elements – engagement, energy and enablement. The study found that companies benefiting from the combined impact of all three sustainable engagement factors outperform their sectors on several measures of financial performance. For example, companies with high scores on all aspects of sustainable engagement outperform their sectors in terms of earnings growth by an average of 18%, compared with companies with high levels of engagement but low levels of enablement and energy, which outperform their sectors in terms of earnings growth by just 9%.

So how do you assess your company’s sustainable engagement? By conducting an employee survey, which Best Companies Group can help you with. We work with organizations to create and administer employee engagement surveys that will collect and provide meaningful feedback. Our survey tools allow organizations the option to measure employee engagement using our standard tools, or to customize the survey to meet their unique needs. The survey results can help you find the key components of your company’s sustainable engagement and point to areas of improvement, helping you boost your employees’ performance.

Read more about Towers Watson’s sustainable engagement study: The Power of Three – Taking Engagement to New Heights.

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