By Corporate English Solutions

06 November 2023 - 13:38

Growing together: The impact of employee engagement on professional development and organisational growth

In an ever-changing business environment where employee expectations are evolving, talent attraction and retention remain challenging and the external landscape is uncertain, one element is crucial to success: employee engagement. 

Discover how prioritising employee engagement is crucial to fostering a motivated and committed workforce, paving the way for both professional and organisational development and growth.


Reading time: 5 minutes

The expectations of today's workforce have evolved significantly. Gone are the days when salary, job security or benefits could secure employee loyalty. Now, personal fulfilment, opportunities for growth, and a sense of belonging top the list, reflecting the changing priorities and values of today's employees.

But what exactly defines an engaged employee? 

According to Gallup, engaged employees are ‘those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.’ They are characterised by their deep emotional commitment and enthusiasm for their work, active interest and participation, and a consistently positive attitude. 

And employee engagement is crucial to sustaining performance and organisational growth. In today’s challenging, ever-shifting business landscape, it is an undisputed competitive advantage that sets thriving organisations apart.

The statistics speak for themselves: Highly engaged teams outperform the rest in business outcomes critical to success: higher engagement rates are linked to a 23% increase in profitability and 18% in productivity. What's more, low engagement rates come at a staggering cost, causing over $400 billion in annual losses due to decreased productivity. 

Having a strong employee engagement strategy matters. 

 Read on to discover how employee engagement, professional development, and organisational growth are closely linked, and how growing together fosters a thriving organisational culture. 

Employee engagement drives professional development and growth

It's widely recognised that offering opportunities for professional development and career growth enhances employee engagement and motivation. Formal and informal learning, coaching, job rotations and collaborative projects do much more than equip an employee with skills and knowledge: they boost confidence, motivation and belonging. 

But did you know that the opposite is also true? Employee engagement drives professional development and growth.  

Here’s how:

1.Proactive learning 

Engaged employees are hungry for professional growth. They are driven to seek out learning, learn more, take ownership of their learning, take on stretch assignments and apply what they know. They actively seek out feedback to identify where they need to grow. 

2. Adaptability 

Engaged employees thrive in times of change. Whether driven by market dynamics, new technologies, processes, or systems, they adapt and learn in the situation. Adaptability is crucial for professional growth in ever-changing work environments. 

3.  Versatility

Engaged employees are open to new experiences. They are willing to upskill, reskill, and work cross-functionally, enhancing their skills and making them more versatile, opening up career options. 

4. Networking 

Engaged employees are skilled networkers. They build positive relationships across a range of stakeholders from colleagues to managers, interest groups to industry experts. This network is a valuable source of opportunities for professional growth, through knowledge exchange, mentoring and career advice. It can foster a greater sense of inclusion and belonging.

5. Responsibility

Engaged employees are willing to take on more responsibility to stretch themselves beyond their role and grow. Chances are, they’re more likely to be considered for leadership roles which brings more personal and professional growth.

Prioritising engagement with employees motivates them to engage in learning and career development while also fostering a culture of continuous and collaborative learning. Employees actively share knowledge, mentor their peers, and collaborate on innovative projects, enhancing skills and expertise and improving performance.

Employee engagement drives organisational development and growth

And it’s not only employees that develop and grow when they are engaged. It’s also the organisations they work in. 

Here’s how: 

1. Agility and resilience

Engaged employees are agile. 

Vital in today's rapidly evolving business environment, agile employees are more likely to embrace change, support and even champion it. They are more resilient, able to handle stress and can cope with challenges and learn from setbacks. This enables both themselves and the organisation to adapt, recover and grow in complex and challenging times.

2. Talent retention

Engaged employees are committed. 

Engaged employees contribute ideas and get involved in decision-making, creating a sense of ownership and the opportunity to influence. They feel more valued and empowered to actively shape the organisation's future. 

Engaged employees are often emotionally invested in their organisations, fostering a sense of commitment. This makes them more likely to stay with the organisation and actively contribute to its growth and success, reducing quiet quitting and increasing talent retention. In fact, teams with low engagement levels typically have 18% to 43% higher turnover rates than highly engaged teams.

Talent retention plays ensures that valuable skills and knowledge stay and grow within the organisation. By retaining top talent, organisations reduce turnover costs, maintain continuity, and cultivate a workforce capable of driving innovation, efficiency, and sustained growth.

3. Communication and collaboration 

Engaged employees speak up. 

Engaged employees act as catalysts for improved communication and collaboration within the organisation. They keep everyone in the loop and foster a culture of open communication that reduces misunderstandings. By sharing ideas, resources, and knowledge across departments, engaged employees cultivate a culture of collaboration in the workplace. 

Engaged employees are often assertive contributors to discussions and keen to give and receive feedback, streamlining processes and enhancing performance. They create an inclusive workplace by welcoming diverse voices and perspectives in decision-making. And their positive, open attitude means engaged employees are less likely to get into conflicts. 

Open communication and proactive collaboration enhance innovation, increase productivity and drive performance, serving as catalysts for organisational growth. 

4. Organisational culture

Engaged employees are optimistic. 

Engagement is contagious! Who hasn’t felt the ripples of enthusiasm and dedication that start with engaged, motivated employees? When positive colleagues actively engage with others, it creates a domino effect, resulting in a more optimistic and engaged workforce as a whole. 

Engaged employees are more likely to feel that their personal values align with the organisation’s values and culture. They often act as champions of the organisation's mission and values, not just by endorsing them but by exemplifying them in their daily work. As others in the organisation witness and internalise these values, there is a subtle cultural shift towards a shared set of norms and beliefs. This fosters a sense of belonging and shared purpose, strengthening their commitment. 

A positive organisational culture is intrinsically linked to organisational growth. Motivation is the spark: to perform well, concentrate, manage time efficiently 

 As we look to the future, prioritising employee engagement is crucial to fostering a motivated and committed workforce, paving the way for both professional and organisational development and growth.

Is your organisation harnessing its transformative potential? 

British Council has over 80 years’ experience of partnering with organisations and individuals in over 200 countries. Our holistic, research-driven approach to learning and assessment and forward-thinking industry leading solutions empower growth, positively impacting individuals and organisations. 

Partner with us to upskill your workforce and prepare them to communicate with impact through training and coaching in Professional Skills.