News & Case Studies

Building Engagement from the Inside

employee engagement red clover

Gallup recently released an article that ranked employee engagement by state and even where it’s at its highest, it’s at 37%. In many states, it’s much lower and overall, it’s 33%. So what’s everyone else doing?  Half of all surveyed employees said that they were ‘not engaged’ and active disengagement was as high as 21% in some states. This means that 1 in 5 employees not only care more about the Pokémon Go than they do their work, but they are taking their colleagues along with them for the ride.

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Why do we care?
Gallup goes on to say that employee engagement is strongly connected to business outcomes.  Financial success, innovation and even branding are all driven by employee engagement.  Certainly when  payroll is often the single largest expense on the income statement, 33 cents on the dollar is a fairly meager return on investment.


What can we do about it?
Knowing what levers to push to drive employee engagement is the first step to course correction.  It’s not as hard as you might think.


Capitalize on employee strengths rather than try to develop weaknesses.
Development plans that leverage employee strengths tend to do better in terms of employee satisfaction and productivity, and by correlation business results, than do plans that focus on areas of improvement.  Changing the conversation to one that is positive, rewarding and highlights what people do really well is easier, more rewarding and effective.


Listen.  And, assume value is what you’re hearing.
Employees may feel that their voices aren’t being heard.  Often it’s a perception that leadership doesn’t share, so the challenge is to show employees that they are being heard and that their opinion is valued.  While not all employees can participate in every decision in an organization, every company has some decisions where employees can participate in the process.  Give them a seat at the table, listen to what they’re saying and, rather than jump to counter arguments, assume value in what you’re hearing from them.


Recognize (and reward).
Recognizing employee performance, sometimes through rewards, but also through various other means of recognition is absolutely key to building and maintaining engagement.  People need to know that their contribution makes sense, is well understood, and valued by leadership and the organization.  Rewards are both extrinsic (compensation) and intrinsic (related to the job roles and workplace).  Satisfy the need for extrinsic rewards, but recognize that intrinsic rewards are the key to building ongoing, sustainable positive change in your employee engagement.