Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report showed that only 15 percent of adult employees are engaged with their employers worldwide. Helping businesses address this issue can represent new opportunities for professionals in the promotional products industry, as data by market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB), a subsidiary of global engagement agency ITA Group, has identified that a satisfied employee can be a company’s best ambassador.

CMB’s research has made clear the value of a satisfied employee, finding that 93 percent of them will recommend a company as a place to work, 86 percent are willing to learn new skills and responsibilities, 53 percent plan to stay for their full career, 35 percent are interested in exploring jobs at other companies—compared to 82 percent of dissatisfied employees—and only 23 percent plan to leave in the next 12 months. However, most employers have room to improve on the issue. CMB found that while, overall, 66 percent of employees report feeling satisfied at their company, only 32 percent say they are “very satisfied.”

CMB surveyed nearly 1,500 full-time employees at U.S.-based companies across a range of industries and found there are five types of psychological benefits critical to driving employee engagement. These include functional benefits—the belief that the company facilitates professional growth and success while enabling a good work/life balance; emotional benefits—typical workdays that evoke overall positive emotions; and identity benefits. The latter is defined as personal identity benefits—bolstered self-esteem; self-expression and belonging; social identity benefits—identifying with company coworkers and leaders; and cultural identity benefits—feeling aligned with the company culture.

The study illustrates how these psychological benefits boost employee satisfaction. For example, 95 percent of employees who index high in functional benefits feel satisfied at their company compared to only 28 percent of those who index low on functional benefits.

“This is in line with what social science teaches us about the kinds of things that motivate behavior,” says Erica Carranza, Ph.D., vice president of consumer psychology at CMB and co-author of the research study. “Employees across tenure, level and role are motivated by the psychological benefits we identified in this research—and the companies with programs in place to deliver these benefits will reap the rewards of a dedicated workforce.”

Christina Zurek, insights and strategy leader, ITA Group, adds, “This research shows that companies can’t stop at benefits like compensation packages and work/life balance to truly inspire and engage their workforce. And while making a bigger push for wellness programs and similar initiatives can help, the most powerful investment a company can make in order to engage employees is to nurture emotional and identity benefits.”

Click here for the CMB research report in full.