Wikipedia defines “Employee Engagement” as a concept that is generally viewed as “managing discretionary effort, that is, when employees have choices, they will act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work.”
Gallup developed its Q12 benchmark specifically to correlate its measure of employee engagement to worker productivity, customer loyalty and sales growth. With 5.4 million responses, it is by far the largest employee benchmark available. Nationally, in 2005, Gallup found:
- 29% of the workforce is Engaged and works with passion. Because they feel a strong connection to the organization, they work hard to innovate and improve.
- 56% are Not-Engaged. These employees do the work expected of them, but do not put in extra effort.
- 15% are Actively Disengaged. In this case, employees aren’t just unhappy, but are spreading their unhappiness to other staff.
In a recent Whitepaper entitled “Employee Engagement: A Silver Bullet”, Lyle Potgieter, Chief Executive Officer, PeopleStreme, asks the question “why bother with employee engagement?” He notes that industry experts Becker and Huselid in “High Performance Work Systems and Firm Performance” that only 15% of organizational outcomes are due to strategy and 85% are due to execution (i.e., employee effort). Engaged employees make the largest contribution to organization outcomes and deliver more than disengaged employees.
New approaches are needed to shift employee engagement even a few percentage points, yet the factors that need to be addressed remain the same. They are:
- Job Importance – an employee needs to know how their job is important to the organization.
- Clarity of what is expected of them – an employee needs to be very clear on what their manager expects of them.
- Career Advancement – employees want to know that there is a fair and equitable system for career advancement and that, if they perform, they will be considered for advancement.
- Improvement and Reward – employees want to make improvements to the organization and if they do, would like to be rewarded where possible (remuneration and a thank you).
- Regular Feedback – employees want to know when they, the department and the organization are doing well or not so well.
- Good Relationship – employees want to communicate with their manager. Even if the news is not good.
- Clear values – employees want to know the values and behaviors that will be looked upon favorably, they don’t want to be left in a vacuum to guess.
- Good Communications – “Tell me what is happening, I don’t want to be the last to find out, I want to be included.”
Potgieter outlines a solution that addresses each of the major factors identified above in his Whitepaper. You can CLICK HERE to request a copy.
If you would like to take a pulse on employee engagement in your organization and measure employees’ personal and practical commitment to your company strategy, contact People Possibilities. In partnership with StratACHIEVE™ / PeopleStreme, we have the tools to identify your most critical workforce issues and can identify which initiatives will best address them.