For those who have never heard of it before, the greatness gap is a concept that refers to the untapped potential of employees. A successful business comes from engaged employees; the greatness gap aims to boost and support employee engagement. When all conditions are met, the engaged employee is invigorated, feels valued, and produces their best work consistently.

As multiple studies have shown, happy employees make for successful employees. One management consulting firm studied companies ranging in morale categories: low, medium, and high (high morale defined as 70% or more of employees expressing overall job satisfaction). The study results showed a climb in stock prices of about 19.4% for the high-morale group, compared to the 10% for low-medium morale groups.

Another study found that positivity or positive emotions invigorate the employee and increase productivity by over 12%. Although the research is there to support the concept, employers haven’t seemed to have taken the recommendation very strongly over the last several years.

In 2015, the North American workforce survey reported that 51% of those surveyed indicated that they are not happy at work, while 49% said that they were. In three short years, the number of unhappy employees has raised from 51% to 53% as the happiness of employees reduces, employee expectations sky-rocket. Rather than the old idea that employees should be grateful for merely having a job, employees have recognized the plethora of choices before them, leaving employers with one option: if you want to keep the best and brightest, you need to create a happy work environment.

Many aspects go into establishing strong employee engagement, including ethos and culture, management structure, salaries, benefits, and more. To determine if your employees are positively engaged, look for these signs:

  • Employees appear happy in their roles, and their work is high-quality.
  • Employees rarely call-off or take time off sick.
  • Employees invest their time and energy into growing their roles and fulfilling extra responsibilities.
  • Employees and management have open channels of communication that are used daily to offer praise and share concerns effectively.
  • There is a low staff turnover rate.

Employee satisfaction and company greatness go hand-in-hand. Employers looking to increase profits, who haven’t noticed all of the above signs, should ask themselves these questions:

  • Do all of your employees understand the company vision and their role in reaching it? Ensure employees know the importance of their work with one-on-one conversations with each employee to cement the open channels of communication and share towards what everyone is working.
  • Do your employees feel motivated and inspired by the future? Hearing the company goals and visions may help to increase motivation for a few days, but successful employers help their workers connect with how their efforts support the larger vision to establish lasting inspiration.