We all have our obsessions

June 5, 2013

It may sound odd, but here at Brilliant Ink, we’re pretty much obsessed with Employee Engagement. We work with clients every day to tackle their engagement challenges. We read about what others in our business are doing. Heck, we even do our own research on the topic. So when I came across this recent headline on Fast Company’s website, it’s no surprise I was instantly captivated: “Gallup's Workplace Jedi On How To Fix Our Employee Engagement Problem.”

The article reports on Gallup’s “State of the American Workplace” report, being released later this month. (That’s right, I’m drooling over a report that hasn’t even come out yet.) While I certainly wasn’t surprised to read that the study found across-the-board low levels of employee engagement, what did surprise me was just how low they are. In fact, the study found that a whopping seven out of 10 workers are disengaged at work. Trying to wrap your head around this startling finding? “To fully comprehend these grim stats, imagine a crew team out on the Potomac River where three people are rowing their hearts out, five are taking in the scenery, and two are trying to sink the boat. It’s hard to conceive how businesses can thrive when so few people are working to move it forward.” Wow.

What’s more, Gallup’s study reinforces what many of us in our business already inherently know: “Organizations in the top decile of engagement outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share, and have 90% better growth trend than their competition.”

Thankfully, there’s hope. The article lays out some key steps companies can take to achieve higher levels of employee engagement, and not surprisingly, many of them focus on the quality of leadership at all levels. Our own research uncovered other ways to improve engagement – from a meaningful interview process to a structured orientation and onboarding plan. Small changes can go a long way, but companies must first sit up and take notice of their engagement problem, and then make a commitment to fixing it.

Here’s hoping it won’t be long until I’m bowled over by a headline like “Workers rejoice: Employee engagement at an all-time high.” A girl can dream, can’t she?

Brilliant Ink

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