Employee Engagement (Part 2)

I just finished reading an article in the Ivey Business Journal and actually found myself getting quite excited by the content of the article. http://www.iveybusinessjournal.com/view_article.asp?intArticle_ID=616

What excited me about the article was in part that it spoke to Canadian statistics; but mostly that it confirmed what I have believed for most of my entire working life about employee engagement. In the positions I have held, both in middle management as well as in human resources; I have often talked about what I believed employees needed in order to be present at work (also known as engaged).

I have been accused of being too much of an ‘employee advocate’ when I have listened to concerns employees brought me about their supervisors or management or perhaps changes they didn’t understand.  I believed that listening and giving our employees more opportunity to contribute to the organization was good for business – I felt it was incumbent upon us to help employees understand changes they didn’t understand – and for us to make changes if concerns were validated.  Unfortunately – in some instances, my view was seen as being ‘against’ the company.  

The article noted above, provided some statistics from a Towers Perrin survey that I think organizations would be wise to pay attention to. (The survey was global in nature but below is just the Canadian statistics).  In Canada:

  • 17% of employees were highly engaged
  •  66% were moderately engaged
  • 17% were actively disengaged.

“In terms of global stats, Mexico and Brazil have the highest percentages of engaged employees, while Japan and Italy have the largest percentages of disengaged employees. What this demonstrated to those who collected the date, is that employee engagement has relatively little to do with macro-economic conditions but rather relates to the unique elements of the work experience that are most likely to effect engagement.”

The work experience is the key – and this study validates what I have believed for years.

So, why should organizations pay attention to employee engagement?

“New Century Financial Corporation, (a U.S. specialty mortgage banking company) found:

  • 28% less revenue was produced by account executives that were ‘actively disengaged’
  • 23% less revenue was generated from moderately disengaged account executives

Engaged employees also outperformed the not engaged and actively disengaged employees in other divisions.

What this further demonstrates is that employee engagement not only correlates with bottom line results – it drives results.

Employee engagement can not only make a real difference, it can set the great organizations apart from the merely good ones.”

If you really want to have a better grasp of how to achieve employee engagement, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the article.

The authors also provide what they refer to as the 10 C’s of engagement.

In my mind, this article makes an exceptionally strong case for the value of employee engagement.

I truly do believe that it is the people that drive the success of an organization.  The people are a company’s best assets – and yet it seems there isn’t a lot of effort put toward helping our ‘assets’ deliver their peak performance through engagement. 

“Leaders should actively try to identify the level of engagement in their organization, find the reasons behind the lack of full engagement, strive to eliminate those reasons, and implement behavioral strategies that will facilitate full engagement.” Ivey Business Journal March/April 2006

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About hrscoops

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This entry was posted in Communication, Employee Engagement, Human Behaviour, Retention, Wellness, Workplace Culture and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Employee Engagement (Part 2)

  1. Larry Wenger says:

    I get disturbed by organizational leaders who think all they have to do to get engaged workers is to pay them more money. It’s a very degrading view of human nature. It’s okay to treat them with disrespect, squelch their creativity, pay no attention to their hard work; if you pay them enough they’ll stay and be grateful for a job. Could not be further from the truth. The fact that only 17% of workers are “actively engaged” is consistent with other statistics I have seen which suggest that 80% of workers would change jobs if they had the opportunity. Fully 50% of workers, according to a University of Florida study, dont trust their supervisors. So, as the economy improves we can expect a lot of turnover; because people stuck it out over the last 3 years does not mean they are happy employees.

  2. hrscoops says:

    Absolutely true Larry. The fact that those in Mexico and Brazil are the most engaged speaks to the fact that money is not what gets employees interested and actively involved in their work.

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