Are Your Employees All the Way In?

Employees can be fully “in” and performing well, checked out and simply filling space, or somewhere in between. This is called “employee engagement,” which can affect job satisfaction, productivity and teamwork. According to Gallup®, “… only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work.” Is this why we should care about employee engagement?

Gallup has conducted research for years regarding various levels of employee engagement and what those mean in terms of performance and business success.  Robyn Reilly of Gallup advises in her article, Five Ways to Improve Employee Engagement Now, “Converting this group of (not engaged) employees into engaged workers is the most effective strategy that any organization can implement to increase performance and sustainable long-term growth.” This begs the question:  How do we get employees more engaged?

The late Dr. Donald Clifton of the Gallup organization spent decades researching human nature and organizational behavior. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Clifton, who founded the strengths movement, is:  What would happen if we studied what is right with people versus what is wrong with people?

Performance management has always been focused on trying to find ways to “fix” weaknesses in employees to make them better rather than looking at and enhancing their strengths. Weakness-fixing only prevents failure, whereas strengths-building leads to excellence.  Building on the strengths movement, Gallup research has shown that organizations that focus on their employees’ strengths and who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged in their jobs and three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life than those who don’t.  In addition, employees who know their strengths are also 8% more productive and teams that focus on strengths everyday have 12.5% higher productivity. Our society has few, if any, places where people can learn about their talents, in order to capitalize on their strengths.

Think about it:  if workers understand their strengths and those of their team members, they are more likely to find their work to be rewarding and motivating.  While on the job, those same employees are more likely to be involved, “here” instead of somewhere else mentally or just waiting until their next break.

Alber Enterprise Center has found CliftonStrengths® to be a valuable set of tools and a mindset for providing a pathway to better understanding and more creative, positive ways to get things done – together. Organizational leadership and management practice; vision, mission and values; and business performance, structure and value creation are all positively affected by focusing on individual strengths and how they build a cohesive team.

To learn more about how to bring out the best in your people and work toward increasing employee engagement, please contact Alber Enterprise Center, alber@osu.edu or call us at 740-725-6325 to start the conversation.

 

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