Is it just me, or is the term “employee engagement” rapidly becoming a buzzword – popular as workplace window dressing, and perhaps sexy to say, but lacking in substance? If so, I think it would be a mistake to let the spin doctors snatch it without a good fight. After all, there’s plenty of industrial-strength ammo available for a winning battle.
For example, hundreds of talent-minded professionals came together yesterday for a #TChat session focused on the “what, why and how” of employee engagement. The quantity and quality of interactions demonstrated significant depth, meaning and conviction surrounding this concept. Ideas were both grounded and inspiring – far from buzzword territory. (To see event highlights, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.)
Engagement By The Numbers
But #TChat-ters aren’t the only ones who care about engagement. In a recent Aberdeen Group survey of 1300 global business leaders, employee engagement emerged as one of the top five business priorities. That really shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, engaged employees are productive employees – and productive employees drive business performance.
So, we know that company leaders think engagement counts. But that raises two related questions:
1) Is the term “engagement” universally understood? In a word, no. And that’s a problem, as TalentCulture’s Meghan Biro indicated in a recent Forbes commentary, outlining the “5 Whys” of Employee Engagement.
2) Just how engaged are today’s employees? Actually, the level is “dangerously low,” according to Aberdeen Group’s 2012 benchmark report, The Rules of Employee Engagement. How low? Here’s a reality check:
At best-in-class companies, 72% of employees rate themselves as “highly engaged.” That means, even under the best conditions, almost 30% of the workforce IS NOT highly engaged.
What To Do?
Clearly, there’s room for improvement. That’s where advice from the #TChat archives can help! Taste some of the tidbits I saw in the mix. Then for a deeper dive, check out the Storify slideshow below for full highlights. You’ll walk away with better understanding of engagement’s business value. And you might discover some useful “how to” advice along the way.
“Engagement is 11 words: ‘What do you think?’ ‘How can I help.’ ‘I trust you.'” @ValaAfshar
“…Allow failure (or forgive failure)…As long as there’s growth.” @KevinWGrossman
“Engagement is a global measure. How we do it is individualized. That’s why mgrs are CRITICAL to engagement.” @IncentIntel
“What is NOT engagement? Suggestion boxes, faceless surveys and once-per-year reviews.” @YouTernMark
“I’m not a huge fan of engagement surveys. They are mostly wasted exercise because no real study or follow through.” @afraymond
“Engagement is intellectual, emotional and physical.” @ReCenterMoment
“Engaged leaders pick up the phone when members of their teams call.” @brentskinner
“Engagement is tougher w/distributed teams. Social tools help, but we can’t rely on ‘engagement by osmosis’ anymore” @TalemetryJen
“Engagement=degree to which employees feel invested in & aligned with THEIR day-to-day experience as part of the organization.” @JsarahwatsHR
That’s #TChat. Collective insights from some of the best minds in the talent and HR community – all in one place. Freely available for the taking. The lights are always on at TalentCulture.com, so come on back whenever you need another engagement fix!
Let’s Keep The Conversation Alive
If you joined last night’s forum, which ideas mattered most to you? How will you apply them? Add comments below — or if you blog about engagement let us know by posting a Twitter link with the #TChat hashtag. We’d like to share your ideas with the TalentCulture community here and via @TalentCulture.
Coming Up on #TChat
Join us next week (Wednesday at 7pmET/4pmPT), as we continue to explore the “World of Work.” Look for a full preview next Monday via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Thanks again for your interest and your contributions!
Photo credit: Ross James Parker via Flickr
#TChat INSIGHTS: Employee Engagement or Lack Thereof?
Storified by TalentCulture · Wed, Oct 17 2012 23:49:02
employee is passionate, involved in, and knowledgeable about the business – inside and out of their own realm #tchatJoshua Barger
y too #TChatPaul Hebert
nagers about opportunities to learn/shadow. They can point you in the right direction #tchatAshley Lauren Perez