New Study: Companies with Higher Employee Engagement are More Innovative

Did you know that when companies place more focus on the engagement levels of their employees, this can lead to increased innovation and creativity?

In fact, companies that care about the well-being of employees, and operate ethically and socially sound principles have a higher chance of beating the competition in many areas - including recruitment and retention. 

Research shows a connection between employee engagement and increased innovation

A new survey conducted by a team of researchers from Ball State University, Indiana University, New Mexico State University, Iowa State University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City shed some light on this topic. The research team examined 200 senior-level managers of American companies and then developed a “social proactiveness scale” in order to measure a manager's priorities concerning internal and external matters. Given this task, managers rated their companies high in terms of salience of stakeholders and employees. 

The study also brought forth a correlation between the corporate responsibility of the organization and its ability to attract high performance talent. Candidates view these types of socially responsible companies as desirable, therefore improving of retention rates enough to ensure that the company becomes more innovative. 

Another discovery from this study is when employees perceive that the company has their well-being and interests in mind, and leaders demonstrate ethical practices -- greater innovation comes out of this. Employees who are treated well are more likely to also be involved with internal and external social issues, which increases creativity and the connection to the community.

How can employee engagement levels be compared to greater periods of innovation?

In the past, the Thymometrics’ team has seen first-hand the benefits of treating employees better and employees being more connected to their day-to-day experience through real-time employee engagement monitoring. A concern that often comes up is how this can be measured in terms of innovation and revenue generation. Can one ensure the other? 

Innovation can and does happen when employees are treated with respect and their ideas are heard. Often, this can be challenging as an organization may be moving quickly to gain an edge on the market and new ideas are put on the backburner. But, we think that there always needs to be a way of capturing this information so that no employee gets ignored. These ideas can be readily available when things switch gears, as is the norm in a more agile business climate. 

The other thing we’d like to point out is that employees who know that they are being asked to essentially rate their job regularly, do so because they would like things to improve. Over time of watching the results of employee engagement data, it becomes clearer what the company needs to focus on to ensure employees are connected to their purpose and understand how important they are to the success of the company. Reports show trends in employee engagement, with upticks in revenues and new solutions when staff are feeling positive. 

Of course, with innovation comes increased earnings potential. Statistically, we know that companies with high levels of employee engagement report 22 percent more revenues than their counterparts. Treating employees well, being concerned that they are happy and feel good about the work they do, that they are listened to and valued by leadership, and that the company is socially and ethically operated are all the ingredients needed for success. 

How can a company increase innovation? 

It’s possible for any organization to increase innovation and profitability. Follow these steps to start: 

#1 - The first step involves conducting a pulse survey to narrow down the top areas that are concerning to employees. Things that need immediate change or correction. Invite employees to share their ideas too. 

#2 - Compare this information to any feedback gathered from exit interviews and performance reviews in the last 6 months. Talk with point of service personnel, leaders, and supervisors to find out what the real issues are. 

#3 - Communicate to employees that they can expect positive changes to come soon. Be specific about how and why these changes are happening. Focus on improving the most pressing areas. 

#4 - Use a real-time employee engagement solution to monitor progress and listen to responses from employees. Continue to gather ideas and concerns from employees. Use these ideas to form new processes and perks for employees.

#5 - Monitor innovation and ideas in your central project management and communication system. Add new ideas here too so they can be implemented at the right time. Compare newly launched ideas to profits over the next few quarters. 

This plan of action can support the short-term improvement of many areas of the company, while also considering the long-term future of the organization. Watch for signs that the company is doing better, not only to the bottom line, but also in recruitment and retention, employee interest in professional development, and a more positive work culture. 


Thymometrics is a new breed of employee feedback technology. Through real time, always-on surveys and feedback solutions, we provide revolutionary yet simple tools to empower employees and monitor wellbeing whilst providing managers with deep and useable insights to improve business culture, wellbeing programs, productivity and profitability. Contact us to see how you can use our tools to create a more innovative workforce.

For more information, please call 01223 750251, email or visit

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