How Do You “Fix” the Employee Engagement Problem?

How Do You “Fix” the Employee Engagement Problem?
From the Turning Good People Into Top Talent blog series.

engagement puzzle


Today, the big buzz in HR circles is how to “fix” the employee engagement problem.  Many have launched a search for HR analytics and the “perfect” talent management or HR technology vendor.

It appears that employee engagement is an employee problem.  The research is very clear that a bad boss or a firm that refuses to invest in them is the root cause of employee disengagement.

The fact is, and the one thing has not changed in the past 75 years – people usually leave a firm because of their boss.  Conducting assorted employee satisfaction mini-surveys is not the path to a sustainable solution.  Regardless of survey results and/or how much employee training you provide, employees will become disengaged or give up and leave.

Here are three questions that HR and Talent Development executives are asking:

  1. Can managers be taught to be more empathetic and understanding or do they either naturally have it or they don’t?
  2. What is the best way for managers to become aware of and to address their lack of essential people skills?
  3.  How can you determine the capacity of candidates to become highly effective managers and team leaders?

The answer to #1 is, “It depends.” It actually depends on the approach to answering #3, which is using a job-talent fit process to identify the gaps you are dealing with. The answer to #2 is a bit more complex and is typically a cultural issue that must be addressed top down—it is not a training-type solution.

The Talent Management Institute provides resources that address each of these areas:  Selection, Alignment and Development.

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