employee engagement

People Spend Time on What They Believe They Can Change

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


I had the opportunity to hear Marshall Goldsmith speak at the WPO (Women President’s Organization) Annual Conference last week in Dallas.  He presented compelling results from research he did on the topic of employee engagement.  He explained that when employees’ are asked typical employee engagement questions in a passive format, their answers tend to produce more negative results and they blame their external environment, management, etc.  As an example, the questions “do you have clear goals?” and “do you have a friend at work?” are asked from a passive viewpoint. 

In contrast, when those same questions were posed as “do you do your best to set goals at work?” and “do you do your best to be happy at work?” the respondent’s replied more positively.  This is because the same essential questions asked in a different way implied the individual is responsible for the outcomes.  The perspective changes from a ‘victim mentality’ (what my company hasn’t provided to me) to one of being responsible for the outcomes (I guess I haven’t put enough attention on that subject and I can make it better).  

Employee Engagement is Key to Profitability

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In a global study of over 88,000 employees, it was determined that barely 21% (1 in 5) are engaged in their jobs.  Employee engagement is a measurable degree of an employee’s positive (or negative), emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization.  An employee’s level of engagement profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work. 

The percentage of employees in the study that were fully disengaged was 8% and the remaining 71% were partially engaged or partially disengaged.  In other words, they are on the fence about the organization and their role within it.

Why should you care?  Research shows that companies with higher levels of engagement experience 50% higher sales, 38% higher productivity and 27% higher profits. According to the Gallup organization, disengaged employees cost the U.S. over $300 billion each year in lost productivity.  Any way you slice it, the time and money spent to improve employee engagement delivers on the investment.