Why an engaged workforce

Posted on April 28, 2011 by

The County Executive talked about the need for engaging the workforce, and highlighted the concept as a key element in meeting the long term goals of the County.  There is some interesting research that has been done that puts the value of employee engagement in real concrete terms.  A Study conduct by Gallup Consulting compared the level of employee engagement in different organizations and their performance in key areas.  When comparing the organizations that scored in the top 25% for level of employee engagement to those that finished in the bottom 25% they made the following observations

  • Absenteeism was 37% lower in highly engaged organizations
  • Turnover was 25% lower in highly engagement organizations that had traditionally high levels of employee turnover
  • Turnover was 49% lower in highly engagement organizations that had traditionally low levels of employee turnover
  • The number of safety incident was 49% lower in highly engaged organizations
  • The number of product defects and rework was 60% lower in highly engaged organizations
  • Organizations with highly engaged workforces had 12% higher level of customer satisfaction and productivity was included by 18%.

How to Engage a Workforce

A lot has been said and written about how to create a work environment where employees feel safe to engage and contribute.  Where they bring the best they have to the work they do, where they take ownership and feel a sense of empowerment.  The benefits are dramatic; the question that is more difficult is how you create an environment where employees want to engage.  The following are seven tangible actions that managers can take that will help employs to feel safe, to feel empowered to act, and to fully engage in the work of the county

  • Communicate your current reality in straight forward terms.
  • Demonstrate a sincere interest in the employee and their well being.
  • Earn trust by being open and vulnerable
  • Have regular conversations with employees
  • Learn employees’ passions and strengths and figure out how to let employees use them in their job.
  • Rally your employees around a meaningful purpose. Everyone wants to know what the real goal is and whether the goal is being accomplished.
  • Explain expectations, support innovation, remove barriers, and show appreciation.

Written by Chris Reh. Chris is the Be the Difference Program Director.  He is responsible for coordinating activities countywide related to the Executive employee engagement and continuous improve reform initiatives. 

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