Employee Engagement – 2011
April 22, 2011 § 7 Comments
The war for talent has returned. According to the Adecco HR Group, in 2010, 14% of Americans started a new job.
Here’s what Adecco’s 2011 Workplace Survey says about the American workforce today:
- 28% will be starting a new job
- 50% of 18-34 year olds will be looking
- 26% of 35-50 year olds will be looking
Of those who will be starting or looking for work in 2011, here’s what they say is important in a job:
- 21% – Job security
- 20% – Health benefits
- 14% – Salary or compensation
- 11% – Financial or retirement benefit
- 5% – Vacation or days off
- 4% – Company culture
- 1% – Company perks
If you are concerned about ATTRACTING talented employees, this data is worth paying attention to. But if you are also concerned about RETAINING your high performers, especially as our economy turns, there’s more you need to know. The Corporate Leadership Council’s (CLC) research on EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT tells us what keeps employees engaged – and it is not necessarily what brought them to the job. And by engagement they mean that the employee:
- Is PROUD to work for the company
- SPEAKS HIGHLY of the company
- Experiences their WORK as MEANINGFUL & INTERESTING
- Believes that the best way to GROW is to stay
- Willingly provides DISCRETIONARY EFFORT to help others
As a manager there are elements in the above lists that you have less personal control over (job security, benefits, perks, corporate actions and policies, etc.), but what the CLC’s research has shown, as well as findings from Towers-Watson studies, is that the manager has a much larger impact on employee engagement than company or environmental (marketplace) factors. Those of you who study this stuff may recall that the U.S. Navy did some research decades ago and quantified the effect of submarine Commanding Officers (on morale, motivation, performance) to be 50-70%.
- Demonstrates that he/she cares about me
- Encourages my development and growth
- Sets realistic & relevant performance goals
- Helps me find solutions
- Accurately evaluates my potential
- Provides rich, frequent, informal and specific feedback
- Trusts me to do my job
- Recognizes my achievements
- Is friendly and approachable
Three things about the above list:
- There are ways to do each of them better or worse, and I will address best and worse practices in upcoming posts.
- Care (#1) and Growth (#2) of the “smaller by the bigger” are the most important (South African leadership researcher, Etsko Schuitema does a fine job speaking about this)
- Trust (#7): According to Towers-Watson, 42% of employees do not trust their manager. If you want to assess yourself on this, see my previous post on TRUSTWORTHINESS to understand what it takes to earn or gain trust.
Take-Away: Don’t assume your high performers have high potential. They may be great team players, but may not be engaged. Often, we leave our “A” players in the dark while we try and fix the problems with the “B’s” and “C’s,” and are surprised when the top talent leaves. Connect with your talented people and find out how they feel about their work. Listen to them.