Posted by nyssa on May 19, 2014 in , , ,

There has been a good deal of research exploring the concept of employee engagement and how this relates to productivity within the workforce. Bringing this language to the fore is a positive development but how can these concepts be translated into industry best practices with tangible implications? It is accepted wisdom that a more engaged workforce will also be a more productive workforce but does this knowledge alone allow a Company to take steps in the right direction? If the steps are not obvious then should a Company invest in identifying ways to make the journey?

I have recently read two studies which looked at the concept of employee engagement and would like to share some of the insights which I believe will highlight two reasons why this is important.Employee Feedback

 30% of employees are actively committed to doing a good job, 50% of employees merely put their time in, and 20% act out their discontent in counterproductive ways….…. It is estimated that the 20% group alone cost the US economy around half a trillion dollars each year.  Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace report.

There will be variances in the figures but I imagine the experience in Australia will be similar to that captured in the Gallup study. There are a number of implications from these findings but one of the clear message is that it is critical for a successful business to harness the productivity of their engaged workforce while minimising the damage from those disengaged. Disengagement is also usually contagious and if you are a business leader and a problem started bubbling away in your organisation, then ask yourself – would I be in a position to know that this was happening?

A recent Australia Talent Trends study by Linkedin found that 45% of active candidates in Australia claim to be satisfied in their current roles. This suggests that it is no longer enough for a Company to ensure that their employees are satisfied in their current roles in order to ensure that they stay with the business. The barriers to exit are now just a click away – the door is open and the grass on the other side can often look greener. Does this mean more Company barbies, introducing a 9-day fortnight or paying out bigger bonuses – maybe, but probably not. It will more likely revolve around questions of challenging work, better opportunities for advancement, better working environment and better support/mentoring from management. 

The Linkedin study also found that 87% of employees say that they have been actively managing their career over the last 30 days. They go on to explain that an actively managed career will include engaging in professional networking, editing resumes, being contacted by recruiters, applying for positions and applying/interviewing  for new positions within their current organisation. Interestingly, and I imagine worryingly for a number of business leaders, the lowest scoring activities where those which related to applying for new roles with the current employer.

If you are a business leader and have recently lost a high performing staff member who from all accounts was satisfied in their current role then ask yourself – did I do enough to prevent this happening? At Optimum Consulting, we help our Clients to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage through attracting, engaging, retaining and developing a productive and adaptive workforce. We go about achieving this through a number of approaches which are tailored to the unique landscape and requirements of our Clients. Every journey starts with one step, take your first step with a call to one of our Consultants.

Cristo Mastoroudes – Senior Consultant

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