Earlier this week I came across and article published by HRMagazine, an online portal that talks about human resource issues published in the UK. Although the statistic I'm going to quote relates to a survey done in the UK and Europe, I don't think it's too hard to make that leap that the same conditions exist in the US.
Although I don't believe there's any question that an engaged workforce is more productive, more satisfied and willing to go the extra mile, according to recent data from Aon Hewitt's European Engagement database, "...the vast majority of employees across the UK and Europe believe that their employers view employee engagement as a tick box exercise, with only 18% of employees strongly believing that survey results will be acted upon."
If the same sentiment exists in the US, it would appear that we are only giving lip service to how we engage the workforce; and any hoped for increase in productivity appears to be a pipe dream. There might be some reading this who are thinking, "My company takes employee engagement seriously." If they do, you are fortunate becasue "The report shows nearly half (47%) of managers indicated that they spend only two to five days a year on activities relating to their annual engagement survey," writes David Woods.
Lombardi said, "There is only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything. I do, and I demand that my players do."
According to Jenny Merry, UK Engagement Practice Leader at Aon Hewitt, who is cited by Woods in the article, "It's clear that while most organizations monitor levels of employee engagement, many are failing to act effectively on the findings. Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and salary increases below the level of inflation, ensuring your workforce feels supported and engaged is more critical than ever before. An engaged workforce will be more productive, more efficient and more likely to help the company reach its targets."
Whether or not your organization spends a lot of time working to create the type of work environment that encourages an engaged workforce, project leaders can create that kind of environment on the team. Is spending less than a week thinking about and acting on the things that would facilitate a productive working environment really enough?
"The well-worn phrase 'people join organizations and leave managers' is not the whole story; people leave organizations which have not properly equipped managers to be engaging," says Merry. "Managers could and should have a positive impact on employee engagement. With careful planning, expectation setting and support for managers, it's possible to make this a reality."
"Leaders aren't born, they are made," said Lombardi. "They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal which is worthwhile."
What are you doing to make sure you have all the skills you need to lead people? Is your organization serious about doing things that encourage engagement or do they give it only lip service?