What’s the buzz all about? It’s engagement … and to be more specific, employee engagement!
Gone are the days when managers were able to retain employees who had little to do each day; today budgets are tighter and the push for efficiency is running high. Today it’s a Buyers’ job market and the economy demands that managers produce high quality goods and services with far fewer resources, humans included!
But as this reality sets in, I was surprised by some interesting stats in a 2011 Employee Engagement Report compiled by consultants at BlessingWhite:
- Only 31% of employees worldwide are “engaged” and 17% are actually disengaged.
- Engaged employees plan to stay for what they give; the disengaged stay for what they get.
- There’s a strong correlation in organizations between levels of engagement and Age, Role/Level, and Tenure.
- Engagement levels are impacted more by one’s trust in senior executives than one’s trust in immediate managers.
- Executives appear to struggle with key leadership behaviors, especially what’s required to create a high-performance culture.
- Managers are not necessarily doing the things that matter most to employees.
- Actions most correlated with high engagement are not always the ones that receive the most favorable ratings.
What they found was that the top drivers for job satisfaction worldwide came from employee opportunities (1) to apply their talents; (2) for career development; and (3) to receive skill-enhancement training.
Does this surprise you? If not, I wonder why there’s a statistically significant number of managers who are not doing the things that matter most to employees! Practically speaking, I’m one who believes if I’m going to spend at least 8 hours each day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks each year of my roughly 45 years of life working outside the home, I want it to be meaningful.
Do you want to spark “flash-engagement”? Well, perhaps it won’t happen that quickly but it’s still possible. Many employers just have to “retool” their organizational cultures if they want engagement to take a stronghold. Think of cultural retooling like growing seeds: the environment has to be “furtile” or the seedlings will wither.
But how can you make the environment “furtile”? If you’re looking for ideas on how to get employees more engaged, here are 5 Steps to help get you started:
- Two-way feedback mechanisms must be in place so employees can communicate up their organizational chains on a regular basis.
- Trust building must take place (or employees already must have trust in their leadership)
- Organizations have to provide formal and information career development and internal mobility tracks to employees.
- Employees have to understand: (1) how their jobs fit into the big picture; (2) what they must do more of; and (3) what they must do differently to help the business succeed.
- Decision making has to be a shared activity within the organization (and pushed to the lowest possible level possible).
Finally, check out Esther Reyes’ GL post “By the People: Employee Engagement“. She offers some great insights as well as resources to “Get Engaged”; Michelle Rosenblum shares some training ideas in her GL post “Dealing with Employee Engagement & Today’s Generation Gap“; and in another GL post “What About Employee Engagement?“, Shannon Donelson shares a great paper about Improving Employee Engagement to Do More With Less.
Related Post: Are You Planning to Fail Today?