There is no silver bullet to employee engagement. What I have learned throughout my career is that engagement really is a verb, not a noun. While many CEO’s invest in strategy as a means of building morale, the implementation really suffers.
I think it’s clear to most that engaged employees work harder and perform better, or at least, want to. Ample evidence is available to understand why firms need to engage employees. My post on the value of engagement highlights some strong rationale. So, for the CEO’s who want to invest in engagement programs why do so many fail before the program leaves the gate?
New data from the Economist Intelligence Unit indicates that c-suite leadership aren’t getting it. According to this data rich survey, “…the overwhelming majority (84%) [of senior executives] claim, “disengaged employees” represent one of the three biggest threats facing their business, [however] it would appear that sufficient understanding or action by corporate leaders is lacking.” As a matter of course anything in the top three should get some intense action, no?
The information however reveals some significant gaps between what leadership say and what they do. The survey details that in terms of engagement tactics that senior executives are paying little more than lip service to real engagement strategies. The survey evaluates techniques used to engage staff and the evidence is underwhelming. According to employees working at firms where senior executives believe they are committed to engagement responded that “…65% of firms used…“company-wide communication (email or group meetings) [to share] strategy”, whereas only 26% replied with “ensuring that middle managers are capable of good people management.”
The research highlights vast inconsistencies between what is said and what is done. This is troubling to say the least.