According to Gallup, employee engagement in the United States hasn’t improved in the past 16 years. The organization has tracked workers in the U.S. since 2000 to measure their commitment to and overall enthusiasm for their jobs. It consistently finds less than a third of Americans are engrossed in the workplace.
Surveys Are Ineffective
Most companies recognize the need for increased employee engagement and have take steps toward this goal. Unfortunately, their methods aren’t working, and many wonder what more can be done.
“Surveys are not effective tools.”
The problem, Gallup said, was many organizations tend to use surveys to measure satisfaction across the working environment. These are annual or semiannual questionnaires providing reports and percentages, but they don’t take any actual steps to improve aspects of the company.
Deloitte agreed. The professional services network found surveys are not effective tools to make people more committed. Executives know the exact number of dissatisfied workers they have, but they don’t know what to do about it.
More Than Perks
Both organizations believe effectively developing a committed workforce requires more than providing a high salary and numerous benefits. In fact, according to Deloitte, increasing wages generally does not increase engagement. Meanwhile, the tech industry is known for its incredible employee perks. Many offer gym memberships, free gourmet lunches, extensive holiday policies and more. However, few tech companies can actually determine if these allowances get their programmers excited to come to their desks.
Engagement must be a consistent company priority as opposed to a one-time program, Gallup wrote. Businesses seeing the highest growth put staff commitment toward the top of their goals. They’re dedicated to employee development and open communication, and they insist management and executives apply the feedback they receive.
Deloitte2 suggested employers need to make their work irresistible. Staff members must should have the tools and time to do their jobs well in addition to the autonomy and flexibility to make unconventional decisions. In essence, staff members need to feel some sort of control over their work. They also need assurance they’ll be able to complete it. Without these two key elements, people likely become less productive.
While most organizations realize the need for a more committed workforce, few have actually taken the steps to create one. Most rely on annual surveys to create objective data, but they don’t know how to apply that information. Instead of dismissing employee engagement as a problem in need of a one-time fix, leaders must make it a part of their company goals and overall strategy.