Engagement is usually defined as being motivated and likely to invest discretionary effort in organizational goals or outcomes.
This definition is cited from the Gallup survey held during 2011-2012 where the astonishing conclusion was, that worldwide only 13 % of the employees is engaged.
One can see diferences in regions where as the US are “rocketing” at 29% and Europe settles for only 14%, Belgium has in the details of this survey the honor to be at the middle, with only 14 %(+/- 5% bias) engaged workes.
If 66 % of your workers is not engaged and even 21 % is actively disengaged, we have to wonder wether we are still doing the right job as a company.
Of course the economic environment has influenced overall engagement negatively, because people are fearing for their jobs and for their retirement allowances.
If we zoom into the different generations we could state that the traditionalists and the Millenials have the highest engagement rate, the others following from far.
Do organizations need to look for other solutions, what should they look at and how would that look like in the future?
Towers Watson, published a document that talked about sustainable Engagement.
Sustainable engagement adds up Energy and Enabling to the traditional Engagement to make it sustainable.
I certainly agree with Towers Watson that Enabling people and assure there is enough Energy for them to provide, will provoke a sustaining Engagement.
I do believe that leaders should:
- make the company goals and objectives clear and believable
- make an environment, provoke a culture where people can be proud of
- make it possible for employees to be successful, whether it is the availability from internal resources through mentoring, coaching, training or
- the availability of external resources
- make it possible for employees to meet work challenges effectively
- have an eye on work/life balance and help employees with it
- make a supportive social environment and help people to understand how they contribute to their engagement
- help people celebrate and share the celebration
As a consultant and a trainer, it happens too often, that not even 3 or more of these elements are available or even worse that there isn’t even a notion of their importance to the overall profitability of the organization.
Organizations with highly engaged people have, in average, a profit margin that is 3 times higher than those with too much disengaged employees.
This last conclusion should help companies to understand how important engagement is.
Gallup worldwide Engagement Study, 2011-2012
Tower Watson, Global Workforce Study, 2012