One of the biggest trends in today’s organizational research focuses on employee engagement and its impact on business success. However, in the daily world of organizations, issues such as unfilled talent requisitions, expense-controlled benefits packages and implementing a talent retention strategy often overshadow the engagement focus. Yet, we know that engagement is not a “nice to have”, but an essential part of business success. So, let’s revisit this topic, its relevance to today’s business environment and six ways to move the engagement needle without additional resources.
What We Know
- The latest employee engagement research supports that only 30% of employees are fully engaged, up to 60% are disengaged and up to 10% are actively disengaged.*
- Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction. Satisfaction leads to entitlement, not engagement.
- That the key to employee engagement is managers. Disengaged managers are three times more likely to have disengaged employees!
- That it’s no longer just what you do, it’s now why you do it, and who you are! Organizations driven by purpose and values outperformed comparison companies by six times!**
What We Can Do Now
Here are some critical approaches to drive higher levels of engagement while still supporting other business initiatives:
- Give employees opportunities to be themselves
- Encourage employees to reflect on what makes them feel authentic
- Tell employees what job needs to be done rather than how to do it
- Let employees solve problems on their own
- Encourage employees to bring out their signature strengths
- Give employees opportunities to identify their strengths
- Tailor jobs to employees’ strengths
- Question the status quo, and encourage employees to do the same
- Ask that they provide innovative, business-centric ideas to challenge the status quo
- Create challenging experiences
- Encourage employees to seek out work-related committees, projects to stretch their skills
- Foster broader perspectives
- Support employees to look beyond their functional areas for further business understanding and involvement
- Voice and encourage dissenting views
- Encourage employees to look beyond “group think” and to always be seeking other
ideas and approaches
In each of these steps, it is critical to involve senior leaders, managers and supervisors and all other employees in helping to frame approaches and solutions to higher engagement. Employee engagement is a business initiative in which all voices must be heard.
*10 Practical Employee Engagement Steps…that Drive Results. Bob Kelleher, 2014
**Rebel Talent: Barriers to Work Engagement and Possible Solutions, Harvard Business School, 2017