The need for effective employee recognition programs is driven by many factors – obstacles to your efforts to improve employee engagement and develop a true culture of recognition. Some are the result of “external” factors, as mentioned by Sarah White in her article entitled Top 3 Employee Rewards and Recognition Trends for 2014 – company cuts, cost reductions, technology advances and a rapidly changing marketplace. Engagement is impacted by the resulting concerns about job security, elevated stress levels and a diminished sense of company and job loyalty.
Gallup found that employee engagement is also impacted by more immediate and even highly personal attributes in its study entitled The State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders. Length of service, age, education level and gender all relate to engagement, as does occupation or job category.
Gallup measures and defines employee engagement as follows (page 21).
- Engaged Employees – work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward. This group represented 30% of the U.S. working population in Gallup’s most recent study.
- Not Engaged Employees – are essentially “checked out.” They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time – but not energy or passion – into their work. These employees aren’t hostile or disruptive – they simply kill time with little or no concern about customers, productivity, profitability, waste, safety, etc. 52% of the U.S. working population included not engaged workers.
- Actively Disengaged Employees – aren’t just unhappy at work; they are busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish. They represent 18% of the U.S. working population.
When considering that over two-thirds of the U.S. working population is either not engaged or actively disengaged, the potential for improvement is tremendous. Sarah White points out that when HR managers implement strategic, performance-based rewards programs they create a competitive advantage for their companies – and that senior leaders are starting to realize rewards and employee recognition programs can benefit both employees and their organizations. These findings are based on Accelir’s recent Rewards & Recognition: 2014 Trends Report.
When Gallup analyzed employee engagement by job segment, it found that managers and executives made the most dramatic gains – more than one-third (36%) were engaged in their jobs in 2012 (up 10% from 2009). While a significant change, consider the positive impact that could be realized if more managers and executives were engaged. As it stands, two-thirds aren’t leading at all. Gallup concluded that managers hold a powerful influence on workers’ engagement levels. Effective management – the new Boss – combined with strategic employee recognition can produce significant gains in employee engagement.
Contact us to find out more about building employee engagement through employee recognition programs.