There are no shortages of problems in today’s working world. 

  • Management complains that they can’t get the right skills or they can’t find people who will actually work.
  • Employees complain about mind-numbing jobs, or inequity at work, particularly where there’s no accountability.  So some people work their butts off and get no reward, while others do as little as possible and nothing ever happens to them.

COVID-19 has only made these problems worse.

To me, we can sum up all of these problems when we talk about employee engagement. 

Those complaints immediately tell me that an organization doesn’t focus on employee engagement nor on its key component of developing people.

What does engaged mean?  Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are highly involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace.

According to Gallup, 52% of employees are not engaged, with another 13% actively disengaged.  That leaves 35% who report that they are engaged at work. 

That 35% is the highest since Gallup started measuring in 2000.  Organizations are doing some things right to build that trend of improvement, but there is still great opportunity in that other 52%.

What about those 13%?  I think we will always have a small group of employees who would rather be somewhere else or doing something else, so I don’t think we should put a ton of effort into solving that problem.  The much bigger opportunity is to turn a few of those in the middle into more of those in the engaged block.

That’s the core problem that I wanted to solve in my book Leadersights.  In the new book, I want to show that so many other “routine problems” at work flow from engagement.  Everything from productivity, to quality; even safety suffers when employees are not engaged.

What do you think is causing this poor engagement?  I think it’s poor leadership.  Over the next few months, let’s see how much of this stuff we can tie together and connect so that if we solve the main root cause, we’ll see a domino effect of problems disappearing.  And that, conveniently, ties well into our theme this month of Connecting.

Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.