The short answer: sorta.
In the last few years, employee engagement has risen about 5%. Growth of any kind is great, but that still means 67.4% of the workforce is either not engaged or worse, actively disengaged. All organizations want to have engaged employees, or at least they should, so what can we do to increase that score?
Why Are Engaged Employees Great?
First, let’s make sure we understand why having engaged employees is so important. Engaged employees are more than just the hard workers; they are the ones going above and beyond their job descriptions because they want the organization to succeed. Want to get a handle on who is engaged in your organization? Here are some indications that your employees are engaged:
#1: They do more than their job description
By connecting people with the big picture, employees go the extra mile to make sure they are contributing to something bigger than themselves. And they’re willing and/or excited to give discretionary effort to support the big picture. So make sure you’re sharing the broad strategy with your people. Make sure they understand the purpose of the journey and why their efforts are so critical in reaching the organization’s goal.
#2: They have and share big ideas
When people feel a sense of belonging, they are empowered to share their ideas. They feel secure knowing they will not be judged and are comfortable participating in a discussion. Trust me, you want people to share their ideas, concerns and feelings with you. If you aren’t hearing people’s opinions, don’t think it’s not happening, they’re still talking, just in hushed voices at the watercooler or in the hallways.
#3: They are game changers
People want to go on that great journey, or contribute to something that has a real impact in the world. When people understand they are on the journey to support a purpose or vision, those engaged employees will help take your organization to new heights. It’s true—when your people are really invested in your journey and the organization’s success, they’ll always be thinking about ways to do things better.
Is Your Employee Engagement Getting Better?
If you don’t think it is, that’s not good news. Disengaged employees costs the United States economy an estimated $550 billion in lost productivity. And, organizations with disengaged employees tend to experience status quo performance—or worse put businesses in the red. On the flip side, organizations with highly engaged employees are more likely to see faster and greater growth and have higher performing people.
To ensure you have engaged employees, you will need to do these three things.
Align and Engage Leadership
Everything starts at the top. If your leaders are not setting the right example, culturally or behaviorally, or aren’t aligned on the business’ top priorities, how can you expect your people to perform well?
Solidify Your Big Picture & Engage Everyone in It
It’s hard to engage people in something they don’t understand. It’s also hard to show people something that isn’t created yet. Does everyone in your business know what the big picture strategy looks like?
Sustain the Engagement
One and done hardly ever works in business, and it really doesn’t work when it comes to engaging your employees. Take extra care in how you’ll sustain the momentum otherwise you’ll have to start from scratch later.
Download the White Paper
To learn about these three points, download our white paper “E” is for Engagement. You’ll get the white paper, animated white paper and an infographic. With this information you can stop wondering if employee engagement is getting better and instead start doing something about it.