According to recent research by Gallup, the percentage of engaged workers in the U.S. dropped in 2021 for the first time in a decade. The trend continued into 2022 with only 32% of full and part-time employees engaged and 17% actively disengaged. These lower levels of engagement have certainly fueled “The Great Resignation” with workers looking for more meaningful work, greater flexibility and increased work-life balance. Employee engagement is a topic that organizations can no longer push under the rug, but need to examine more closely and determine what’s working and what isn’t.
Let’s start by defining employee engagement. In a nutshell, it’s the measure of how involved and enthusiastic your team members are about coming to work every day. It’s their emotional commitment to your organization, including the mission, core values and vision. Here’s what engaged employees look like:
- They’re proud of where they work and typically happy with their job, manager and company culture
- They intend to stay with an organization
- They would recommend their workplace to others
- They’re actively interested in their job and support and encourage fellow team members
Now that we know what employee engagement is, what are some of the top drivers of engagement? Most of us would say compensation, and while it certainly plays a role, it’s not the most important factor. Here’s a look at the top 5:
- Strong leadership: One of the biggest discoveries from Gallup’s employee engagement research is that managers or team leaders alone account for 70% of the variance in team engagement. That’s quite a percentage! Strong leadership truly matters.
- Caring organizational culture: Like strong leadership, an organization’s culture plays a prominent role in how team members feel about their job. Helping team members feel that the work they’re doing is essential for the success of the organization will create a positive employee experience. A culture that emphasizes work/life balance and employee wellness (just to name a few), goes a long way in boosting engagement.
- Meaningful work: Everyone wants to feel like their work means something and has a purpose. It boosts enthusiasm, productivity and connection. It’s also a major driver of employee retention.
- Professional growth opportunities: Research shows that employees are much more likely to be engaged in jobs with organizations that make learning and professional development part of their culture. Fostering personal growth opportunities helps employees achieve their personal goals and leads to greater satisfaction and dedication.
- Regular feedback and recognition: Having a consistent system of feedback within an organization is one of the best ways to build strong communication. In organizations that emphasize feedback as an important part of their culture, employees receive regular, helpful feedback from direct supervisors and are encouraged to provide meaningful feedback to co-workers and leadership. It’s truly a two-way street.
As you read this list, think about your organization. Do you feel like you’re hitting the mark on all five? Or maybe you notice weak spots and see room for improvement. Working with a coach, like Leah M Joppy and Associates, can help. We collaborate with you to look at areas where engagement is low, establish where improvements can be made and come up creative solutions that will increase team members’ engagement and morale.
There’s no better time than the present to get started! Team members want more than a good paycheck and a warm, fuzzy feeling to feel invested in their work and contribute their best to an organization. Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com