In a study, conducted by MSW Research and Dale Carnegie, 90% of organizations say employee engagement impacts business success yet 75% do not have an engagement plan or strategy. The statistics have been relatively consistent over the last 6 years with 70% – 80% of employees at the partially engaged or disengaged levels. When I interviewed several CEOs to find out why we have not moved the needle, the common response was they felt employee engagement was “too fuzzy” and “hard to measure”. This indicates the simple fact that many CEOs have not put real numbers to a real problem.
The real problem is that today’s workforce must be managed differently than the workforce of the past. Managers need to be leaders that can build stronger relationships, collaborate successfully, communicate better, and coach their teams more effectively. Managers today need help to bridge the gap between managing and leading. This gap in leadership soft skills creates symptoms all over in organization such as;
- Lower employee retention rates
- Higher employee absenteeism
- Increased rework
- Longer production cycles
- Higher scrap rates
- Poor customer retention
These symptoms are often treated as individual problems, but unless the root cause of low employee engagement is addressed, other symptoms will materialize in different ways throughout the organization.
The difference between average employee engagement and high employee engagement is as simple as having a strategy with measurable goals in place. Managers executing an engagement strategy can assist in bridging to more effective and engaging organizational culture.
Common strategies to consider for your organization are:
- Implement a high potential program to develop your future leaders
- Establish leadership training curriculum for existing managers
- Identify and evaluate your organizations drivers of employee engagement
- Create opportunities for collaboration and “special assignments”
- Build a more connected internal working community through social media and team building events
- Encourage open communication with senior management and the general population
- Initiate more formal and informal recognition programs