블로그 게시물

Employee Engagement: Why It Matters and What to Do About It

Chris Barbin

CEO, Appirio

The world of work is entering unprecedented times. By many measures, unemployment is as low as it has been in a decade. Yet the percentage of employees who are engaged in their work is frighteningly low. In fact, according to Gallup research, more than 65% of U.S. employees are not engaged or actively disengaged. Behind this statistic are real people just trudging through their workday. It seems a lot of workers are uninspired, deflated and not fulfilling their human potential.

The human cost of disengagement should be enough for executives to investigate and take action. We all spend a lot of time at work and with our colleagues. While competitive salary is important, research indicates that it's not enough to get employees engaged. As the Harvard Business Review observed, "The association between salary and job satisfaction is very weak." Yes, inadequate pay can make employees unhappy. But adequate pay doesn't directly correspond with happiness and engagement.

Aside from the human cost, there are real business consequences to a lack of employee engagement. In fact, unhappy employees cost American businesses over $300 billion each year. High attrition, for one, can drain a company's human capital and profits. But there is also a clear connection between employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

In your own life as a consumer, when was the last time you had a good experience with a company that had disengaged employees? When most companies try to solve customer satisfaction issues and low net promoter scores, they first think of customer experience (CX) processes and technology. But the best CX programs in the world are useless without an engaged workforce.

So, what can organizations do to improve employee engagement?

Invest in New Technologies

Of course, technology is important. Employees expect consumer-grade technology in the workplace. Disconnected systems force employees to spend time hunting for answers instead of servicing customers. Enterprise social networks can also help employees connect. Clearly, good technology and data management is a big factor in employee engagement.

Educate Managers on Smart Leadership

But good technology is not enough. The key to employee engagement is leadership. As Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic writes, "The biggest organizational cause of disengagement is incompetent leadership. Thus, as a manager, it's your personality that will have a significant impact on whether your employees are engaged at work, or not."

Encourage Free-Thinking

To truly increase employee engagement, it is important to inspire free-thinking across your organization. A company culture based on free-thinking allows employees to speak their minds, and it encourages the C-Suite to match individual worker values to organizational goals. Employees in this atmosphere know that their minds are respected. Employees feel heard, needed and appreciated.

A free-thinking culture inspires leaders to practice honesty, transparency and a "no bullsh*t" communication style. Even if employees don't always like what you have to say, they'll trust and respect you for giving it to them straight. I've found that direct reports welcome this approach. However, it's not just on the shoulders of executive management to lead with transparency; to achieve a company culture connected to high performance, all people managers must be on the same page.

Photo: Creative Commons

There is no magic potion to get employees engaged. Building a free-thinking culture arises from every interaction: from interviewing job candidates to counseling employees who are burned out. It is the job of leadership to model this behavior and address situations that damage the culture. So when executives think about employee engagement, the first place they should look is in the mirror.

Photo: Creative Commons

Related Resources

Want to keep learning? Explore our products, customer stories, and the latest industry insights.

고객 및 파트너와의 탄탄한 관계 구축

데이터시트

고객 및 파트너와의 탄탄한 관계 구축

업무 환경이 빠르게 변화하는 현실에서 귀사는 역동적이고 적응력이 뛰어나야 합니다. 중요한 외부 이해 당사자와 탄탄한 관계를 형성하려면 전보다 훨씬 조직적으로 요구에 부응할 수 있어야 합니다. 유연성과 고유함을 갖춰 귀사의 비즈니스에 맞게 구축이 가능한 Cornerstone Extended Enterprise 는 귀사의 성장에 맞게 확장할 수 있으며, 외부 고객에게 충분한 정보를 제공하여 최신 오퍼링을 채택할 확률을 높여드립니다.

1:1 맞춤형 서비스를 받아 보세요

조직에 필요한 인력 관리 요구 사항을 지원하는 것과 관련해 Cornerstone 전문가와 상담하실 수 있습니다.

© Cornerstone 2022
법적 고지 사항