7 Trends in Employee Engagement

I have been thinking about Employee Engagement a lot lately because of the conversations that I have had with prospective clients regarding the disengaged state of their teams and their employees. These leaders are genuinely nice and caring people who feel overloaded and stressed. They want to serve their people but don’t know how. Many have done the StrengthsFinder assessment with their teams and have discovered that doing just the assessment is not enough to reengage their teams. So, where do they go from here?

Over the next few weeks I’ll share some findings regarding Employee Engagement and insights on leading from your Strengths.

This is part 3 in the 5-part series on Employee Engagement by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.

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According to Gallup, when companies focus exclusively on measuring engagement rather than on improving engagement, they often fail to make the changes necessary to engage their employees or meet their employee’s needs. These shortcomings result from…

Viewing engagement as a survey or a program instead of as an ongoing, disciplined method to achieve higher performance

Focusing more heavily on survey data or reports than on developing managers and employees.

Defining engagement as a percentage of employees who are not dissatisfied or are merely content with their employer instead of a state of strong employee involvement, commitment and enthusiasm.

Relying on measures that tell leaders and managers what they want to hear – “We’re doing great!” – rather than research-based metrics that set the bar high and uncover organizational or management problems that are hindering engagement and performance.

“Feeding the bears” — measuring employee satisfaction or happiness level and catering to their wants, instead of treating employees as stakeholders of their own future and the future of the company.


7 Trends

In a post called “7 Fascinating Employee Engagement Trends for 2016,” on his blog, 15five.com, David Mizne lists the following engagement trends, and writes about how to create a more engaged workforce.

1. Engagement will go up (but just a little)
According to Gallup’s latest poll, employee engagement has been pretty stagnant. Only 32% of U.S. workers were engaged in their jobs in 2015, compared to 31.5% the previous year. Given the other trends below, and the fact that engagement has risen from 29% in 2011, we can expect to see the needle move in 2016. But probably not more than a point or two.

2. Millennials will (still) provide a challenge
In 2015, millennials (those born between 1980-2000) became the largest generation in the US workforce. That number is expected to rise dramatically as more boomers retire and more graduates start their careers.

Whatever the specific number, millennials are now the majority. Businesses seeking to engage employees in their work will have to tailor their approaches to this group. Research suggests that they are driven by open communication, a great company culture, involvement with causes, and achieving purpose and fulfillment.

3. More compassionate leadership
People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. An inspiring leader or manager creates more engaged teams. According to research by leadership development experts Dr. Brad Shuck and Maryanne Honeycutt-Elliott, “higher levels of engagement come from employees who work for a compassionate leader — one who is authentic, present, has a sense of dignity, holds others accountable, leads with integrity and shows empathy.”

These are the first three trends being seen in employee engagement. We’ll explore the others over the next few weeks. In the meantime, what has been your experience where you work?

What are you aware of with the leadership in your organization or with your teams? You can reach me here and on LinkedIn.


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