Tag Archives: engaging people

Engaging Today’s Workforce


Given the widespread challenges of hiring and retaining talent, it’s no surprise that leaders are taking a harder look at how to engage their people.

It’s likely we have all seen the data indicating that increasing employee engagement is a good thing:

  • Gallup: Only 33% of American employees are engaged at work (as of this post), and the 67% not engaged costs the nation over $500 billion per year in lost productivity
  • Towers Perrin: Companies with engaged employees have higher net profit margins
  • Kenexa Research: Engaged companies have 5 times higher shareholder returns over 5 years

Possibly of greater importance are some of the additional documented positive benefits of engaged workers, which include lower turnover, better safety, fewer product defects and shrinkage, reduced absenteeism, higher productivity, and better customer satisfaction metrics.

The key question, of course, is how to best go about it!

Gallup offers a wide range of research on the subject, and The Enterprise Engagement Alliance provides many free resources, tools, and advice that could be of use.

In addition, our white paper “Engagement Around the Work” might also provide some good insights into going beyond “engagement for engagement’s sake” and give you a straightforward process, guidelines, and clear targets for leveraging the relationship between engagement and productivity.

Are Your Employees Able to Speak-up?

Are all your employees motivated and able to speak up about their everyday business problems?

This simple question was the focus of a recent discussion among CI leaders, which brought forth a number of enthusiastic comments. Here are a few of the most common perspectives:

  • Respect is the basic rule. A good leader should be able to create a platform that allow employees involved in decision making for problems solving. Involvement and achievement can raise the moral of the work force.
  • It often boils down to the person who you are reporting to. Many years ago I was advised “When a problem is discovered, the only person you don’t want to be is that one that reports it.” I have found this to be true in many cases — especially where the issue has existed for a while.
  • This is one of the major failure mechanisms that destroys the implementation of successful improvement and transformation. It is not that CI fails; it is the current thinking of the leadership that kills it.
  • The solution is to treat all the problems as opportunities to improve, and to reward people when they raise their hand instead of ridiculing or punishing them.
  • It is not enough that the employees speak-up about the problems. Some action needs to happen afterwards as well. Otherwise the employees will give up after some time.
  • Employees that are engaged will speak up, as their goal is to improve the organization; those who are disengaged will not. If leaders promote a culture of engagement, they can enjoy the benefits of continuous improvement.