Improving business results through employee engagement

Scott Carroll

According to Gallop Inc., a leading research-based performance-management consulting company, the remaining 70 percent of U.S. employees are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged.” These people “are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive,” reports Gallop. “Currently, 52 percent of workers are not engaged, and worse, another 18 percent are actively disengaged in their work. Gallup estimates that these actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity.”

While there is not widespread agreement on the specific factors that drive employee engagement, most seem to boil down to these six elements: leadership, work satisfaction, work relationship, employee well-being, value proposition and professional growth.

Clearly, trying to improve employee engagement in a workplace is no small undertaking. Ultimately, though, the following eight steps will get you headed in the right direction:

1. Ensure that your company has clearly defined mission, vision and values
2. Define the company culture you will create and why
3. Commit your company to communicating openly and honestly
4. Measure current employee engagement with a reputable, third-party survey mechanism
5. Identify 2-3 key strengths and 1-2 critical areas of improvement from the survey results
6. Formalize a plan to capitalize on these strengths and address the areas needing improvement in a meaningful way
7. Ensure hiring, promotion and development practices of your company support the environment you are creating
8. Repeat the process on a regular basis

In the end, an engaged workforce is a happy workforce and a happy workforce leads to improved productivity and lower employee turnover. What would it mean to your organization to have a more productive and engaged workforce? What are you willing to do about it?

Scott Carroll is the managing director, business solutions for Vancouver-based Business Outcomes Consulting. He can be reached at 360.474.5045.

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