Engagement – Still Static?

Employee Engagement has been the talk of the town amongst leaders for years but it seems to be becoming stale. Why? Where is everyone going wrong?

‘Employee engagement’ has been the talk of the town within the global world of work over the last decade.
Any leader who is any leader has claimed it to be at the forefront of their agenda. But what does engagement actually mean? The term ‘employee engagement’ was such an exciting term when it was released into the organisational world. Now though, much like the figures associated with it, it’s become a bit stale:

13% of the global workforce are highly engaged (Gallup)

26% of employees are actively disengaged (Gallup)

80% of senior managers are not passionate about their work (Huffpost)

79% of senior managers believe they have a significant engagement and retention problem (Huffpost)

Only 54% of employees recommend their company as a place to work (Deloitte)


And these are just some of the worrying stats around engagement.


So why are engagement stats so low?

To get straight to the point, there is generally a drastic lack of employee involvement in ‘employee engagement’.
This lack of employee involvement in ‘employee engagement’ is a fundamental part of why these initiatives never really have any impact.

In fact:

“Change management has been in existence for over half a century. Yet despite the huge investment that companies have made, most studies still show a 60–70% failure rate for organisational change projects — a statistic that has stayed constant from the 1970s to the present.” (Harvard Business Review)

As engagement hit the scene, it became the professionally ‘trendy’ tick box – if you didn’t have an ‘employee engagement’ department (often one or two people) dedicated to engaging the thousands of employees within the business, you were a bad employer and socially unacceptable within the corporate world. It’s not unusual for people within engagement departments to come up with new ideas for making their workplaces better for their co-workers. However they are often unable to achieve any substantive change due to a lack of resource and/or buy-in from leadership – the very people who employed them to ‘change the world’ in the first place.

Are you seeing similar trends in your organisation?

Download our white paper on Millennial Engagement for a few tips

James Hynes