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Employee Engagement Is Not an Employee Problem

Geoff Schaadt

Do you read HBR or Forbes or Inc or Fast Company?

Yes? Then no doubt you are well versed in the important role that employee engagement plays in the success of any complex organization.

When talking about employee engagement, the question that most managers ask is simple, “How do I improve the engagement of my employees?”

My answer to them is equally simple…

Answer #2

Now I have a part two to my response.

Gallup has long been the leading voice in the employee engagement conversation. One could argue that they started the conversation in 1997 when Dr. Jim Harter released the first “State of the American Workplace” report.

Now Gallup has moved the magnifying glass up a level, recently releasing a new story: Only 35% of U.S. Managers Are Engaged in Their Jobs

Day in and day out, managers are tasked with engaging employees, but 51% of managers have essentially “checked out,” meaning they care little, if at all, about their job and company.

The Road to Recovery Starts with Acknowledging the Problem

Every senior leader should download and read the full report that the article was drawn from, State of The American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders, paying particular attention to the section “Disengaged Managers Create Disengaged Employees”.

Until organizations can increase their percentage of engaged managers, they have little hope of increasing their percentage of engaged employees.

This report is an indictment of management practices across the US (and my experiences would indicate that things are as bad – if not worse – in Canada).

Remember, it’s no coincidence that the first step in every 12-Step program is acknowledging that you have a problem.

So stop asking yourself, “Are my employees engaged?”

It’s time that we all start to ask, Am I engaging my employees?

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