Engagement is a key factor for individuals to enjoy their career and for companies to be able to retain the employees that make an impact on the business. So what do we really mean by engagement anyway? I see engagement as an alignment of job satisfaction (“I like my work and do it well)” with maximum job contribution (“I help achieve the goals of the organization”). Engaged employees are not just committed and proud. They have a sight on their future and on how they can make a difference for their employer’s business success.
Lots of organizations are doing research on engagement. The latest study by BlessingWhite in 2011, found some interesting findings:
- Fewer than 1 in 3 employees worldwide (31%) are engaged. Nearly 1 in 5 (17%) are actually disengaged.
- Despite the challenges of the economic recession, engagement levels around the world remained roughly stable when comparing early 2008 and mid – 2010.
- Yet more employees are looking for new opportunities outside their organization than they were in 2008, suggesting that 2011 may be a challenging year for retention.
Consistent with other findings, two factors top the list of satisfaction drivers for employees in nearly every region across every engagement level: “career development opportunities and training” and “more opportunities to do what I do best.” Individuals also want a better relationship with their manager. This supports the drive of companies and specifically managers to spend time and really understand what drives your employees and provide regular feedback to develop and enhance trust. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to facilitate career discovery and development trainings in progressive organizations. These companies are ahead of their time. By supporting your employees to become clear on their interests, skills and values you are providing a key development strategy. The greater fit a company can have with their business needs and the employee’s strengths, everyone is going to benefit!