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Enough Talk About Employee Engagement!

Let’s See Action

BlahThere are probably a billion articles on employee engagement that we can find on Google right now. It’s a highly discussed topic that gets the attention it deserves, but not enough of the action that it actually needs. I mean, think about some of the reasons we talk about employee engagement: lack of employee engagement because of poor leadership, no opportunities to display creativity, non-existing employee benefits, and the list goes on. One of the obvious reasons we talk about employee engagement is because only 13 percent of the global workforce is engaged at work, based on Gallup’s research. And it’s a big problem that is costing the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year. We can speculate over whether it’s because organizations do not engage employees properly or because employee engagement lacks real strategy behind it.

Whatever the case may be, it’s not a question if organizations should invest in employee engagement; it’s a question of whether they want to or not. And we can debate about that all day, but the smart folks that actually roll-up their sleeves and go to work on employee engagement see a 10 percent increase in profits by $2,400 per employee, per year, when they do.

Then there’s another obvious reason: Engaged employees are more productive, 38 percent more productive if you must know. But that’s not what makes me pause; it’s when I hear that only 25 percent of business leaders have an employee engagement strategy put together that I have to take a step back and catch my breath, based on research from Dale Carnegie.

Organizations need to stop the hunger for employee engagement. It’s real, it exists, and it’s a big problem. It’s leaving employees disengaged all around the world. To do this, organizations should consider three of the following:

Consider New Leadership

Does it sound harsh? It’s certainly debatable… But what I’m really trying to get to the root of is that employer and employee relations are dismal. According toresearch from Officevibe, 89 percent of employers think their people leave for more money, when actually 12 percent of employees actually do. Wildly enough, 75 percent of employees voluntary leave their jobs versus actually quitting, because they quit their bosses. Of course, the reasons behind why employees leave their jobs varies for each case, but it should leave people wondering what’s the cause of all this? Is it due to the lack of communication leaders may have with employees? How deep does the rabbit hole go? The research also found that only 40 percent of workers know about their company’s goals, strategies and tactics. How can you attempt to engage employees if not everyone knows what’s actually going on? How do you sell a product or service if not even half of your workforce is aligned with your company’s vision?

Let Your People Be Themselves

How many of us actually work for an organization that lets us be ourselves or that focuses on bringing out who we are? And no, I’m not counting the IT guys who get to walk around the office in flip flops all day. For the less fortunate, wouldn’t it be nice to feel like a real individual at work that’s appreciated for the skills and experience you bring to the table? It may just keep some employees from bolting at the first opportunity they get elsewhere. Remember, it’s easy to say, “trust your people” to do their work and empower them to make themselves more a part of the organization, but it’s probably more challenging to let employees be themselves during this process.

Recently, a brilliant study from Daniel M. Cable of the London Business School; Harvard Professor, Francesca Gino; and UNC’s Brad Staats, took over an Indian call center that was dealing with a high burnout rate to test individuality and its existence within an organization. The study set up two different orientation systems: one program concentrated on the individual employees and the other featured company leaders discussing the organization’s history and values. The orientation group that focused on individual employees and their skill sets, experienced an increase in retention by 47.2 percent versus the other group. It was also reported that customers reported higher satisfaction with the individual focused group. What was awesome about this study was that when you focus on individuals for who they are and utilize their particular skill sets and experience, these people will be more engaged with the work they do. Why not give it a shot?

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Originally posted on Recruiter.com