An employee of GE once said to Jack Welch. “You have paid for my hands for 24 years, but you could have had my brain for free.” Manipulative and memorable line, you will agree, and one that proves even the most successful companies fails to engage all employees. It was a big issue then, it’s still a big issue now.
Far from being just a concept in management books, employee engagement is essential to a company’s productivity. There are extensive studies showing that organizations with high employee engagement significantly increase their odds of above-average performance across their businesses. Companies that understand and implement employee engagement as a core strategy are those companies whose employees will be more profitable, more customer-focused, more motivated to succeed and less likely to leave the organization.
Real life, though, is not that poetic. According to a recent survey on Employee Engagement in the US Workforce from Modern Survey‘, it seems that only 10% of US employees feel they are fully engaged in the company they work for. 24% are “moderately engaged”, 30% feel they are “disengaged” and a staggering 37% are “under engaged”.
Now, understanding that all effort to keep company staff satisfied increases productivity is the first logical step in engaging employees. The second one is to figure out how to do it and where to act. Measuring the engagement level in any organization is complicated business, but spending a couple of hours immersed in online studies can reveal several words that pop up as drivers in engagement, so it shouldn’t be that complicated to start working on the process. Why then, it happens that we have these catastrophic results? Why are, in fact, companies around the world struggling with this particular subject?