We hear a lot of talk about employee engagement - but are they just words and does it matter? Does it really impact bottom line? When we talk about it, do we know what we are going to do, or is it just aspirational?
Firstly, let’s look at some facts that I ﬁnd quite stunning - and alarming!:
- A recent global survey indicates that only 21% of staff are fully engaged! If that is not a “wow” then I don’t know what is! As Gary Hamel remarked when he saw these ﬁgures: “ …other 79% may be physically on the job, but have left their ingenuity and enthusiasm at home” How true that is!
- A 2013 Gallup survey on employee engagement states that the cost in the US alone is approximately $500bn - that is billion dollars!! Another “Wow”!
- On top of that, only 70% of engaged employees say they know how to satisfy customer needs. That means that even the 30% who are engaged cannot say this. And only 17% of non engaged staff say they know to do deliver customer satisfaction.
- 78% of engaged employees will recommend their company products. Only 13% of the disengaged would do so.
- These ﬁgures are staggering! So, the answer to “does it matter?” is a resounding YES!!!
When viewed from a team effectiveness perspective, we can see how the team is negatively impacted when 79% are not fully engaged. What an extraordinary impact on productivity and efﬁciency we would get if we could capture that disengagement
and reverse it?
From a sales perspective, we can only imagine the positive impact on sales and customer experience, if we could do something serious about the ﬁgures who know how to satisfy customer needs! It would be absolutely staggering!
These stats deliver the most unequivocal argument to invest in employee engagement!
So, why don’t we do it?
I believe there are 2 reasons:
- We don’t see immediate results
- It takes time - time we are using to put the ﬁres out that seem to start all on their own!
They are both interlinked. We don’t see immediate results because that is the nature of changing culture - and this is about culture.
Also, we need to invest time that falls into the category of Important/Not Urgent quadrant that the late, great Steven Covey spoke about in his 7 Habits book. We know it is important, but the ﬁres going off all over the place drag our attention.
However, as Steven says, not spending time in that quadrant stunts growth.
So, how much time are you going to spend this week on employee engagement?
Are you a true believer, or are you just paying lip service? Only you can answer!