They Feel Entitled. How about Engaged Too?

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They’re either disengaged or under engaged in their work but they very much intend to stay with their current employer for a long time. This is what a new study by Modern Survey revealed.

For government workers, 80% were less than engaged but 60% plan to stay. Not like the private sector, you say? Well, how about 66% not engaged and 56% hanging around? Furthermore, the percentage of employees, public and private, who felt their total compensation package is competitive is in the mid fifties. Not bad, overall.

Of course, unemployment is high and equally good jobs are not exactly dropping into people’s laps. But this doesn’t explain the low engagement levels in their current jobs. Their reasonably good pay doesn’t explain it either.

So, let’s get this straight. Government and private employers are paying well, the grass doesn’t look greener out their in the job market, and still they aren’t getting committed engaged work from a majority of their employees who have no intention of leaving. Sounds to me like someone’s getting short changed here.

Is this situation in anyway the case in your shop? If so, here are several strategies you can pursue to raise the proportion of moderately or fully engaged staff.

  1. Executive/Senior leaders:
    • Clearly express your confidence in and excitement about the long term prospects of the enterprise.
    • Explain what this means for all of your employees, why they should care.
    • Communicate clearly the organization’s core values and goals, with special emphasis on why your products or services are important, who in society will benefit from them.
    • In both your statements and your actions, show that you genuinely care about your employees’ well being.
  2. Mid-level Managers and Supervisors:
    • Recognize and reward good performance, the kind we expect from highly engaged employees.
    • Bring up the topic of motivators other than compensation and benefits, such as interesting work, opportunities to learn, grow and advance, the satisfaction of making a difference, personal pride in one’s work, etc.
    • Make your poor performers accountable for delivering the performance expected.

These strategies are proven drivers of engagement. If you expect to keep paying and your people to keep staying, it makes sense to build the level of employee engagement to where you receive the results you deserve in return.