Is your organization using the best possible engagement practices?

loic-furhoff-497244-unsplash-1Your organization may know offering appealing benefits can help with retention — but is your leadership aware using four or more methods to communicate what they entail can result in more than two-thirds of employees being engaged, according to one study?

Or that that only one in 10 companies are happy with their engagement level, according to a CBI and Aegon survey?

In recent years, research efforts have identified several unexpected factors that can influence whether employees are active participants in a company — or at risk of becoming disengaged.

If your organization is currently experiencing engagement issues, the following findings may offer some insight into what’s causing them — and potentially help you determine how to correct it:

  1. Managerial concerns may cause women to disengage more often than men

  2. Bad managers were found to be a key reason nearly half of U.K. workers said they planned to look for a new job in 2018, according to an Investors in People survey. A separate survey from Yoh indicated 53 percent of U.S. employees would consider working for a new employer due to a disrespectful manager — even if the employees were otherwise happy with their job.

Two managerial behaviors were identified as reasons women, in particular, might consider another job: supervisors gossiping about other employees, which 44 percent of female workers take issue with, compared to 34 percent of men, and failing to help workers develop their skills, a concern for 27 percent of female employees and 20 percent of men. If you think certain supervisors may be problematic in your organization, our blog post on bad manager signs to watch for may be of interest.

  1. Managers, however, can’t be blamed for all engagement issues

  2. While a number of organizations may assume engagement generates from actions executives and other leaders take, encouraging personal agency and ownership among employees for their engagement could be a beneficial approach to take, according to an Engagement Institute report. Connecting employees’ work to the organization’s mission, for instance, can enthuse and inspire personnel to take a more active role in improving overall engagement within the organization.

  1. Proactive planning could keep external workers connected

  2. While remote work opportunities are an increasingly popular choice, the amount of time an employee is mobile or works from home can significantly influence how engaged that individual is, according to Gallup findings. Employees who work outside of the office 100 percent of the time are the least engaged of all remote workers — and are also 35 percent less likely to strongly feel their coworkers provide them with meaningful feedback than the most engaged employees, who tend to work remotely 60 to 80 percent of the time.

Effective management, according to Gallup — including using structured processes to provide remote workers with equipment; offering them a chance to meet colleagues in person and ensuring help desk or other assistance is available — can help facilitate employees working remotely.

  1. stock-photo-business-people-teamwork-and-1622260-854058-editedUnity may help employers’ $18 billion engagement tool investment yield stronger results

  2. Recent research conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey identified five psychological elements that can impact employee engagement — particularly facets of the employee experience that relate to identity, such as the social and cultural aspects of working at an organization. Fostering employees’ pride and sense of belonging on an ongoing basis may help companies obtain a greater return on their engagement endeavors.

  1. Acknowledging individual efforts also makes an impression

  2. After a slight decline in 2016, engagement reached its 2015 all-time high point in 2017 on a global level, according to Aon’s most recent report on the topic — thanks in large part to employers recognizing workers’ contributions, one of the top drivers of employee engagement. Senior leadership’s actions and providing various types of training and development for employees also helped influence engagement.

  1. Engaged employees see room for improvement

  2. Thirty-one percent of workers who consider themselves to be engaged say their employer could still do more to improve the employee experience, according to a 2019 Achievers study. Surveys may help employers determine what needs to change. Forty percent of workers describe their manager’s efforts to solicit feedback on the employee experience as just OK and say their organization typically only asks for input once or twice a year. Sixteen percent feel their manager or employer is horrible at soliciting feedback.

Even more employees expressed frustration about managers failing to do much with the information they receive. Twenty-one percent of workers say managers don’t do anything with it; and 42 percent say their employer has only made a few changes based on feedback from employees.

For more information on assessing and increasing employee engagement, view our blog posts on 5 HR employee engagement initiatives to consider, 4 ways company pride can invigorate engagement, the secret employee engagement weapon many companies aren’t aware of, elements you may want to include in an engagement plan — and — how to effectively disarm your most disengaged employees before your company culture is negatively affected.

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