Hundreds of engagement articles, press releases, case studies and special reports, and so many erroneous definitions, statistics without sources and pure PR fluff pieces—it’s no wonder so many people are skeptical of engagement. Below are the most important articles on employee engagement for January 2016.
“Employee Engagement in U.S. Stagnant in 2015“
The most important news of the month was…no news. Meaning no real change in measured engagement. As Gallup summarizes, “the percentage of U.S. workers in 2015 who Gallup considered engaged in their jobs averaged 32%…while another 17.2% were ‘actively disengaged.’ The 2015 averages are largely on par with the 2014 averages and reflect little improvement in employee engagement over the past year.” That’s an overall 1.9 to 1 engaged to actively disengaged ratio for those who track such things. How does that ratio compare to your company’s ratio?
“OfficeVibe Releases Slack Bot To Measure Engagement“
This one is pretty cool. Slack is the fast growing, wildly popular team communication tool that is replacing internal email at thousands of companies. Officevibe recently released an add-on “bot” called Leo that enables Slack users to measure employee satisfaction in real-time. While this space is young, I’ve been predicting for a while that the traditional annual employee surveys will eventually be displaced by real-time measures that are integrated into other daily work tools.
“White Paper: Building a High-Performing Workforce“
Did you know engagement of nurses correlates more strongly to mortality than the nurse to patient ratio? It’s that important. This month healthcare consulting firm, Press Ganey, released a white paper sharing their data and recommendations. A great figure showing employee engagement positively correlates to patient experience based on HCAHP scores. They also show data revealing that 25 to 34 year olds are the least engaged. This is the first time I’ve actually seen hard data to back the assertion that the younger generation(s) is less engaged, although their misleading y-axis distorts the true scale and magnitude of the problem. Also worthy are their recommendations to measure engagement at the work unit level and triage the results. Different follow-up for each of the three groups. This is a solid strategy that would work in any industry.
“Workplace Coach: Cultivating employee engagement pays off in retention“
This Denver Business Post article shares the case of a Colorado city that used Gallup’s Q12 and Strength’s Finder programs. Turnover reportedly dropped from 42% to 1.6% in one year. That is a remarkable one-year improvement which makes me think the total size of the team in question was quite small. Additionally, engagement itself increased from 55% to 73%, again an unusual one-year improvement.
“Ritz-Carlton Approach Gives ABHOW an ‘Advantage’“
Actionable ideas in this Senior Housing News article about American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW) new customer service and engagement program. New orientation program, daily huddles, pillars of values and more resulted in a 26% increase in engagement and a slight increase in resident satisfaction. Every company can implement this type of program with very little cost or time.
Apparel magazine runs this solid article from WorkJam CEO, Steven Kramer, who makes suggestions for tackling the very real and tough problem of engagement among hourly workers. Hourly workers need:
- More communication and community spirit
- Fair and inclusive scheduling
- Reciprocal feedback
- Customized training and recognition
Can’t argue with that.
“New year, same old problem: Low reward, engagement and productivity“
U.K. perspective which is summed up as “U.K.’s current major productivity deficit underpinned by a crisis in employee engagement,” from the Institute of Employment Studies. Interesting to think one out of four HR professionals feel they are compromising their principles. As Duncan Brown writes, “Has HR been ‘asleep at the wheel’? …The growing sense of conflict between HR professionals’ personal principles and their corporate actions. The main concern, they report, is that ‘while HR might want to create “win-win” solutions for people and organisations,’ they can lack the skills and power to influence business leaders, leading a quarter to feel they have to compromise on their principles.”
This supports the idea that perhaps it’s time for HR to be split into two departments. One that focuses on talent maximization and employee advocacy, and another that does all that boring payroll and compliance stuff.
Kevin Kruse is the author of the bestselling book Employee Engagement 2.0 and speaks on Wholehearted Leadership to organizations around the world.