By definition, engaged employees are willing to give discretionary effort to achieve company success. They trust their leaders, feel connected to the company, are given a voice in decisions and key activities, are provided opportunities for growth and feel valued, respected, included and appreciated.
The GOOD: It has been proven that having a workforce made up of engaged employees results in larger profits, less turnover, more productivity, improved safety, enhanced innovation, better customer satisfaction and a more inclusive work environment.
The BAD: In October 2020, GALLUP reported that the level of employee engagement in the U.S. is hovering around 35%. Yes, you read that right. Only about 1/3 of employees are actively engaged.
The UGLY: For most companies, employee engagement has been a key focus area. But after more than a dozen years and millions of dollars spent on trying to improve the level of employee engagement, for most companies, their employee engagement level has not significantly increased. Said another way, after years of focus, programs and surveys, most companies have not been able to successfully address the key cultural drivers needed to positively impact employee engagement.
Is improving employee engagement really unsolvable?
THE WICKED TRUTH: Anything is solvable if a company’s leadership is passionate about it. But doing the same things that have been done in the past will not yield different results. Company executives must be willing to refocus their efforts on the one variable that has been proven to significantly impact employee engagement: Their Leaders.
In order to affect positive change, leaders must learn how to establish more trusted relationships with employees. They must embrace new tools and skills that enable them to lead in a manner where employees feel connected to the company, are given a voice in decisions and key activities, are provided opportunities for growth and feel valued, respected, included and appreciated. And lastly, companies who are serious about fostering a more inclusive and engaging work environment must hold their leaders accountable for creating positive change.
Because if nothing changes, nothing changes.