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Employee Engagement doesn't always mean HAPPY employees!!

First published on LinkedIn.

The Great Resignation is coming and we can't stop talking about it!! We've been burnt out, made to work from home, and are now asked to 'return to normal' in our offices. But...we've only just begun to breathe a little (some without masks - lol)... Are we asking too much of our employees?

Employee engagement is about emotional commitment – the type of work that isn't always communicated and is often directly tied to organizational goals. It is the key to activating a high-performance workforce.

In a recent Gallup survey, only 36% of employees feel engaged in their workplace. This number has recovered slightly since 2020, but manager engagement is too low. Managers affect 70% of the team's engagement levels and are responsible for maintaining an ongoing feedback cycle. Understanding how managers can activate talent is crucial to navigating this next big talent & recruiting challenge.

Look at your organization's Employer Value Proposition(s) (EVP). Is there opportunity for career growth? Would you wholeheartedly defend the Employee Value Proposition? Employees are looking for affirmation that leaders are using their head, heart, and hands to listen to and act on employees' needs.

Invest in your workforce. Ongoing training opportunities can help boost employee engagement which is currently sitting at an all time low. And why not invest in your employees if not for the correlation that high employee engagement results in accelerated revenue growth? This is also an efficient and effective way to "build" your internal talent while helping to close employee skill gaps. Your organization will become less reliant on external talent and competitive workforce shortage issues for new positions and promotions (also referred to as the "war for talent").

Be honest, transparent and accountable. With decreased engagement and a lack of clear communication, employees may also feel a lack of psychological safety and lack of belonging, and question their ability to do their best work. Let this be an opportunity for you to break down barriers and give employees permission to "bring their true authentic selves to the workplace (TM)." You can't guarantee an employee's happiness, but you can give them the comfort of Inclusion and Belonging.

What kind of message do you want to send to your staff? After a year of SURVIVING, in what ways are you telling your team to start THRIVING?

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that last month we recognized the 31st anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which strives to increase Inclusion and Belonging for employees with both visible and invisible disabilities in the workplace.

The ADA is one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 -- the ADA is an "equal opportunity" law for people with disabilities.

If you haven't done so already, be certain to check out the documentary Crip Camp, which centers on the origins of the disability rights movement.

Until next month...Enjoy the last months of summer... Stay safe, be well & stay healthy!


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