Employee Engagement: “Did I Stutter?”
Poor Stanley. The lovable curmudgeon on the still popular TV Show “The Office” wants to be left alone so he can do his crossword puzzle in the middle of a company brainstorming meeting in peace. His boss, bumbling Michael Scott, tells him to put his game down and join the group. Stanley replies with a firm, “No.” Michael then says, “Stanley, we’re havin’ a little brainstorm session.” Stanley then proceeds to cut him off and says loudly and firmly enough so the whole room can hear it, “Did I stutter?” Michael becomes so embarrassed and flustered that he calls a quick end to the meeting so he can grab a glass of water. The episode continues with Michael and Stanley trying to come to an understanding and better define the boss and employee relationship.
Do you think Stanley is engaged in his work? Do you think he is committed and connected to his organization? Do you think Michael may have something to do with that? According to SHRM, executives from around the world say that enhancing employee engagement is one of their top five global business goals. As a critical business driver in today’s highly competitive environment, employee engagement can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line. According to The ISR Employee Engagement Report, “Companies with high levels of employee engagement improved 19.2% in operating income while companies with low levels of employee engagement declined 32.7% over the study period.” Is it any wonder that increasing employee engagement is a top-five global business goal?
A highly engaged workforce is the key to retaining top talent within your organization, driving high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty for sustained growth. However, how do you know if your workforce is engaged or not? Then once you identify low engagement as an issue, how can you address the problem before your bottom line starts to suffer?
Is My Workforce Engaged?
That is a good question because we often confuse job satisfaction and happiness with employee engagement. Therefore, the thought goes that if my people are happy, then they’re engaged. However, it is possible to have a happy and satisfied employee who is not actively involved in their work or committed to the company.
According to Kevin Kruse, the author of Engagement 2.0, “Someone can be happy at work, but not ‘engaged.’ They might be happy because they are lazy and it’s a job with not much to do. They might be happy talking to all their work-friends and enjoying the free cafeteria food. They might be happy to have a free company car. They might just be a happy person. But! Just because they’re happy doesn’t mean they are working hard on behalf of the company. They can be happy and unproductive.”
Thus, happiness and job satisfaction are not useful indicators of employee engagement. It could be they have found a comfortable place to “hide” in your organization without the level of commitment and caring that could help propel your company to the next level.
Gallup regularly conducts surveys on the topic of employee engagement, and they have found that nearly 70% of the workforce today is disengaged, causing employees and businesses to suffer dramatically due to increased turnover, low commitment, and reduced productivity.
How can you know if your workforce is engaged? There are many different tools and companies that provide engagement measures, but we have found Emplify, a Forbes-recognized employee engagement firm, to be superior. Emplify is not just adept at measuring engagement but also in helping to provide solutions.
How to Address Low Engagement?
Emplify measures employee engagement each quarter to provide closer-to-real-time data about how your staff views the organization, their managers (who have a significant impact on their overall engagement), and their roles within the company. The powerful “heat map” it creates shows leaders exactly where problem areas exist as they slice and dice the data into targeted segments of their workforce (by the department, location, generation, tenure, and more).
Scientifically based employee feedback surveys, such as the ones provided by Emplify, allow you to take a deeper dive into the company culture and pinpoint the root causes of disengagement. By collecting anonymous feedback regularly, it gives teams and leaders real-time insights from scientific data that can then be used to impact change quickly. BEST and Emplify then team up to create a customized roadmap to improve communication and drive performance.
If you’re looking to bring more meaning to your employees’ work experience, increased employee engagement, and productivity, then start acting on this proven and predictive data format. We can help you build an action plan to drive high engagement and performance, which will impact your bottom line and your ability to compete better and win.
In August 2019, close to 200 business executives met and issued a statement on “The Purpose of a Corporation,” radically stating that companies should no longer advance only the interests of shareholders but also invest in their employees. It could be a reaction to a changing economic environment and record low unemployment. It could also be business leaders finally understanding the importance of employee engagement. That’s right—Did I stutter?
SOURCES: “Did I Stutter?” The Office, written by Brent Forrester & Justin Spitzer, directed by Randall Einhorn, 2008; Gallup Employee Engagement Poll, August 26, 2018; The ISR Employee Engagement Report by Towers Perrin; Engagement 2.0 by Kevin Kruse, Createspace Independent Pub, 2012.