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Why employee engagement matters


It sounds like a no-brainer: Keep employees engaged, and you’ll have a happier, more productive workplace. But a new survey shows that surprisingly, not everyone is on the same page about the importance of employee engagement.

Highly engaged employees aren’t just passionate about their work, but they know how their contributions play a vital part in the overall success of their organization. They’re known for their commitment, and organizations know the importance of keeping them happy.

On the contrary, disengaged employees often feel underused and as if though they’re not getting what they want from their job. These employees are often skeptical and negative, and if left alone, they are likely to do enough work to collect a paycheck while complaining or eyeing other opportunities.

Consulting firm Blissingwhite’s Employee Engagement Report 2011 found that less than one-third of employees globally are engaged, and nearly 20 percent are disengaged. The term engagement factors in employees’ personal satisfaction in their role and their work contributions.

The more senior role employees have, the more engaged they tend to be. And older employees are also more engaged than younger. Additionally, employees who trust their managers are likely to be more engaged. However, trust in executives rather than in immediate managers has a stronger correlation with high engagement.

Interestingly, employees have more trust in immediate managers than in executives: 72 percent of the North American respondents said they trust their manager, while 52 percent said they trust senior leaders.

The report also revealed that although engagement is increasing worldwide, more employees are considering leaving their organization if given the choice. European employees are the most restless, with less than half saying they would stay. Fifty-six percent of North American respondents said they intend to stick around.

The top reason for staying for all the regions? Satisfying, interesting work. Top reason for leaving? Lack of opportunity for career advancement. 

While the survey didn't focus on government employees, the same principles apply. Give your employees work they enjoy and let them feel a sense of ownership over the work they do, and they'll be happier and less likely to leave for a better offer.

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 01, 2012 at 12:19 PM


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