You need engaged employees to stay in the race

Many employers are finding they’re not able to move their company forward. Considering your employees are the engine that drive your company, you need to release the clutch and engage your engine. The problem, it seems, is management… one compounded by the fact that most managers are themselves not engaged at work. According to Gallup’s surveys:

When we examine executives and front-line managers (those who only manage individual contributors) separately, we find that 45% of executives are engaged versusjust 29% of managers [my emphasis].

So if you think this problem is limited to line-level employees who are perhaps inherently lazy or unmotivated, you’d be mistaken in Gallup’s estimation. Managers aren’t all that engaged at work either – especially those closest to the rank-and-file. This would seem to doubly unfortunate, considering that:

“Employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are 59% more likely to be engaged than those supervised by actively disengaged managers.”

Nevertheless, before wrapping this week’s post up, I would argue that there is one bit of good news. “Employees,” as Gallup argues, “approach the job market with a clearly defined list of wants and needs.” More generally then, Gallup suggests that:

“Employees are the consumers of the workplace.”

Workers, in other words, now more than ever seem to view a job as a “product” that they “purchase” from an employer with their time. Businesses are looking for services and programs, like ours, to remain competitive against other companies looking to recruit top talent.

As Gallup correctly concludes, “organizations should want their employer brand, their reputation as an employer, to be as formidable at their customer-facing brand – the same logic applies to both.” By failing to do so, the reports warns, an organization misses an opportunity to retain talented and valuable employees and thus “reduce turnover and maintain productivity.”

(And just in case you were wondering, workers are in fact shopping around. As Gallup also found, 51% of all U.S. workers say they are either actively looking for a different job, or watching for opportunities.)

So if there is a take-home message to all of this, it really is quite simple: in order to better engage and retain your employees, treat them as you would your customers.

Because truth be told, that’s what they are.