An article by our partner Michael Zroback

No doubt you have heard the dreary statistics on engagement. In his blog, Torben Rick, notes that, “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”.

It could be that this low level of engagement is the result of a low proportion of companies (only 54%!) having formal engagement programs as reported by a recent survey by Silk Roads. In any case, the companies surveyed reported the following issues:

  • 67% reported low employee morale
  • 66% stated their employees were unmotivated
  • 64% said their employees felt unappreciated
  • 48% complained they had difficulty retaining employees

This same report also indicated that the majority of their executives (70%) reported being engaged as opposed to only 10% who reported they were either extremely or somewhat uncommitted. Yet these same executives did not place a great deal of emphasis on formal engagement programs for their employees!

Numerous authors have prescribed various ways of increasing the level of employee engagement, such as:

  • increasing trust in management
  • career development for employees
  • creating a more stimulating environment for employees

From this severely abridged, yet (I think) fairly representative data, several clear conclusions can be reached:

  1. Most employees are not engaged in their work
  2. Only a minority of companies have a formal engagement program
  3. Company executives do not regard engagement as important

For companies that would like to attain/maintain high productivity this is a serious problem. I, for one, cannot understand why companies would not want to implement a strategy to increase their worker engagement since an engaged worker is a productive worker. Is Steve Caldwell correct when he states that “The culprit is poor managers. You can invest in all the free food, exercise centres, game boards, and great locations you want. But, at the end of the day, all of these great benefits can be destroyed by a manager who just doesn’t understand that they are (sic) the real source of motivation and inspiration for their (sic) people.”

I don’t think so. Even if well over half of our workforce is not engaged in it’s work, it is not necessarily due to poor managers; rather, I think it is because managers do not know how to effectively get their reports engaged in their work.

BUT, what if they knew how to effectively engage their employees in their work?

What if:

  • Trust in management could be significantly increased?
  • Career development for employees could actually happen?
  • A more stimulating environment for employees could be created?
  • Employee goals could be aligned with corporate and departmental goals?
  • Employee efforts could be supercharged?

All at very little or no extra cost!

The good news is that all this is entirely possible if the Manager/Supervisor:

  • Builds rapport with his/her direct report
  • Participates in creating outcomes with his her direct report
  • Helps identify barriers to his/her ideal performance
  • Assists in developing strategies to overcome these barriers
  • Co-creates action plans to implement these strategies
  • repeats steps 1-5 regularly

In other words, the Manager/Supervisor needs to concentrate on the relationship s/he has with his/her direct report because,

The quality of an employee’s work performance depends upon the quality of the conversations between the manager and his/her direct reports.

In other words, you need a clear, straightforward and effective way to hold these conversations with your reports.

 This is the key!

Michael Zroback

Interested in learning more? Contact us:

The Momentum Group | | (416) 638-2050

Michael Zroback and Associates| |  (647) 444-3502

Engaged2Perform | |  (519) 656-1066