Who is Taking Responsibility for Solving the Employee Disengagement Problem?

from the Turning Good People Into Top Talent blog series
By Bob Moore, CMC, Managing Principal, Talent Management Institute


Numerous surveys consistently reveal that CEOs across all industry segments are most concerned about low levels of employee engagement and retention.  However, it appears that no one has taken responsibility for solving this problem. It would be easy to conclude that HR is at fault. However, could it be they lack clear direction and authority to implement solutions?

Many executives simply cite the fact that current initiatives have failed to have a positive impact on employee engagement levels.  This is validated by a study conducted by Oracle of 1,500 employees, which found only three percent of respondents said their company’s HR department had the biggest impact on their engagement levels. However, up to 42 percent of employees said their friends and colleagues at work had the biggest impact on how engaged they felt. An Oracle executive concluded that this was a warning that HR does not ‘own’ engagement in the eyes of employees.

The study further revealed that 53 percent of respondents said to help employees feel engaged, recognizing their achievements should be management’s focus, followed by helping them to understand their contribution to the company (35 percent) and giving them the opportunity to work on exciting projects (34 percent). This research suggests that a key area where businesses can improve employee engagement is through proactive management styles and better communication. Only 29 percent of those asked said their company was proactive at engaging with them, with 56 percent stating that their line managers were average, poor or very poor at providing regular feedback.

Providing recognition and support will become increasingly important now that millennials make up the largest segment of the workforce, since this is a primary motivator for them to feel engaged and productive.  Further, nearly four-fifths (79 percent) of millennials said they would like more discussions about their career path and 57 percent of employees said they would like managers to be more forthcoming with engagement ideas and efforts.

From the employee’s perspective, there is a gap between what makes them engaged and the approach taken by management – a gap which provides HR with a great opportunity to take ownership of engagement within their organization.  These data suggest there is an opportunity for HR and Talent Management professionals to obtain the responsibility to implement solutions.

Most authorities agree that the effectiveness of the employee’s manager is the number one factor influencing levels of engagement.  In turn, lack of engagement is a primary contributor to high levels of turnover.  With levels of concern among CEOs at an all-time high, HR/TM must seize the opportunity to demonstrate their value by implementing processes to solve this problem. Examining your company’s team leader/manager development programs could be the ideal place to begin.

Want to Know More?
Click on the link below to discover how you can implement a cost effective team leader development process in your organization.

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Bob Moore, CMC
Managing Principal

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