10 Insights About Workplace Engagement

A workplace that supports employee engagement is a healthy, positive one. Unfortunately, it seems such working environments are uncommon. Surveys indicate that approximately 87% of workers throughout the globe are not engaged with their jobs.


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This is a problem for businesses. High employee engagement is associated with greater productivity, employee retention, and more.

That’s why it pays to investigate the issue further. The following insights will help you understand why engagement levels remain low. They’ll also give you an idea of how to boost them in your organization.

1. Managers Aren’t Being Trained

Management is typically responsible for engaging employees. The problem is that managers may not know how. A recent survey shows that more than half of managers receive no engagement training at all. Implementing something like management by objectives (MBOs) could help align team members and increase employee satisfaction.

2. Employees Benefit from Understanding the Company’s Values

In a healthy workplace, employees are familiar with the organization’s brand, values, and mission. This helps them feel like real members of a team. That’s why business experts recommend educating all workers about your brand thoroughly.

3. Employees Want to Be Appreciated

Boosting employee engagement and retention doesn’t need to be difficult. Simply expressing your appreciation for an employee’s contributions will make him or her more likely to stay with your company. Surveyed employees frequently list a lack of appreciation as being a key factor in their decision to leave a job.

4. A Strong Recruitment Process Leads to Strong Engagement

A worker will be more engaged with his or her role if he or she feels qualified for it. Thus, it’s important to be as clear and accurate as possible throughout the recruitment process. Make sure the initial job listing describes the role thoroughly, be honest about difficulties an employee may face during interviews, and consider having candidates complete a sample assignment on a freelance basis to ensure they’re qualified before hiring them.

5. People Are Overworked

Research shows that forcing employees to work long hours backfires for companies. The problem is that half of all employees don’t use their vacation time. They often fear that doing so will have a negative impact on their performance or job security. This can have major consequences for productivity, creativity, and engagement in the long run.

6. Employees Want to Grow

Work is no longer about completing rote tasks on a daily basis. Employees want to tackle major projects that give them opportunities to grow and develop their skills within an organization. They want feedback from managers, access to professional development programs, and an overall assurance that hard work will be rewarded.

7. Employees Don’t Trust Their Bosses

Most employees surveyed report trusting strangers more than they trust their own bosses. Clearly, supervisors need to focus on developing healthy relationships with those who work under them.

8. Offering Social Opportunities Matters

Employees are more inclined to stay with a company if they are friends with their coworkers. Thus, organizations should make a point of scheduling social activities for workers to participate in together.

9. Bosses Miss the Point

When bosses are surveyed, the vast majority indicate they believe employees leave their jobs in pursuit of higher pay. However, when employees are surveyed, they rarely cite this as a major factor. There is an obvious disconnect between how bosses and workers perceive engagement.

10. Communication Is Key

Essentially, employees want honest and regular communication between workers and management. They want to know about the company’s performance, their own individual performance, and the company’s overall goals. Making regular communication part of how you do business is key to boosting engagement.

As several of these points demonstrate, engagement in the workplace is suffering. That doesn’t mean it has to. By knowing what does and does not contribute to a healthy working environment, you can boost employee satisfaction. Doing so offers major rewards for your organization.

David Mizne is Communications Manager at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, objectives (OKR) tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360° reviews. David’s articles have also appeared on The Next Web and The Economist Blog. Follow him @davidmizne.