Employee Engagement Issues? Time for a Chat!
The evidence keeps rolling in that companies cannot crack the important task of raising employee engagement. A recently released research report that TINYpulse runs annually found that among their client employee pool, engagement has fallen from the already dismal levels they found in 2015.
- 24% of employees feel strongly connected to coworkers – down from 27% in 2015
- 26% reported feeling strongly valued at work – down from 31% a year earlier.
These results come from crunching all the mini “pulse” polls TINYpulse runs continuously all year for their clients, so this is hundreds of mini-survey responses analyzed in the aggregate, combining responses from hundreds of client companies. So this is a measurable drop in engagement!
This means the nod that most executives give to raising engagement as the path to greater productivity and creativity (a sound strategy consistently supported by research!) is just that: Talk. The hard work of translating that commitment into a sustained course of action down through the layers of the organization is not happening in most organizations.
TINYpulse also rated aspects of corporate culture that correlated well to higher levels of employee engagement. New flash: Benefits packages and “work/life balance” did not grab the top spots. These factors did correlate to overall employee engagement:
|Survey question asked:||Correlation to high engagement|
|How much fun do you have working here?||0.65|
|How would you rate our organization’s culture?||0.62|
|How well does our organization support you in exploring your professional interests and goals?||0.61|
|How happy do you think your average coworker is at work?||0.61|
|Do you feel like you will have the opportunity to reach your full potential at our organization?||0.60|
|How valued do you feel at work?||0.60|
In contrast, flexible schedule had a 0.33 correlation, great benefits packages had a 0.36 correlation.
Another interesting finding that offers a window into why employees are under-engaged at work is the performance of their bosses, and the disconnect between boss and worker.
|Is Management Transparent?||Are There Opportunities for Growth?||Is There a
Clear Career Path?
Not surprisingly, the managers have a higher opinion about how well they communicate, and how well they work with employees on development plans. These managers, however, still do not give their organizations glowing marks in these cultural categories. Barely 50% on average gave their cultures good marks. (A reflection on their own bosses’ behaviors, perhaps?)
The solution? Ongoing performance check-ins that replace annual performance reviews, which means sitting down with each other and having a frank discussion about current performance, skill or execution gaps, how to fill them. Then move to the employees’ aspirations. What sort of careers do they want? Can they achieve those within this organization? If so, what plan can you create together to move them forward? If not, what alternative path would they like to take? How can the manager help the employee get where he or she wants to go?
We know this works to raise engagement, retention, creativity and outcomes. We have seen it happen within hundreds of teams across multiple clients. And it all starts with the commitment to sit down and chat about life and work on a regular basis!