Findings Leaders Cannot Afford To Ignore.

“The three rules for business success: engagement, engagement, and engagement.”
(Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks)

But Gallup’s Workplace Survey Says Only 13% Of UK Employees Are Actively Engaged In Their Jobs.

In an unprecedented study of engagement and well-being among more than 47,000 employees in 120 countries around the world, the Gallup organisation found a powerful relationship between emotional well-being, employee engagement and profitability. The report states that companies who invest and attain higher employee engagement achieve 3 times the operating margin than those with low employee engagement. Other benefits include:

  • 25-65% higher turnover.
  • 37% lower absenteeism.
  • 28% lower shrinkage (theft).
  • 48% lower staff safety incidents.
  • 21% higher productivity.
  • 10% higher customer satisfaction.

The study nails the coffin shut on the old belief that only technical skills and intellectual capacity lead to success in business. It shows that it is happy workers – people with positive emotional resources and high levels of emotional capital – who have higher levels of engagement and productivity; produce higher sales; perform better in leadership positions; and receive higher performance ratings and higher pay. They also enjoy more job security, take fewer sick days, and are less likely to quit or become burned out. And CEOs who manage their emotional energies well are far more likely to lead teams of engaged employees. The implications are crystal clear for anyone running a business.

The report identified 3 types of employees (and their level of engagement):

  1. Engaged (UK Figures 13% +/-1%) employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. These 13% of employees drive innovation and move the organization forward. Engaged employees not only understand their businesses purpose, they can articulate it as well. They understand how their job contributes to the overall purpose of the brand. (UK Figures
  1. Not Engaged (UK Figures 57% +/-2%) employees are essentially “checked out.” These 63% are sleepwalking through their workday, putting time – but not energy or passion – into their work.
  2. Actively Disengaged (UK Figures 26% +/-1%) employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these 26% of workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish.

According to the report, companies with high engagement:

  • Make employee engagement important by discussing why it is important before measuring it
  • Make employee engagement an important goal for all managers
  • Select leaders based on their ability to effectively manage people
  • Measure engagement in realistic ways that are meaningful to individuals.
  • Their measurement activity leads to actions
  • They provide training and coaching for company managers on effective employee management


Steps To Higher Employee Engagement

Recruit good managers/leaders: Gallup has found that, generally speaking, employees’ perceptions of their primary manager influence about 70% of their engagement, while co-workers’ attitudes and other factors account for the remaining 30%. Hire and promote managers with the talent to lead and engage their workgroups. The appointment of a manager is one of the most important decisions a company can make as managers play

a critical role in driving engagement. Be very careful of promoting or appointing people as a reward for functional success. The reality is that many people who are the best performers in their current roles often do not have the talents necessary to effectively manage people.

Measure engagement: Regularly ask your employees the 12 questions at the end of this paper and develop operational and coaching strategies to redress areas where the results aren’t good

Respect your people: Almost all engaged employees — 95% — say they were treated with respect all day yesterday, versus about three- fourths (74%) of actively disengaged employees. Research demonstrates that managers who provide frequent recognition and encouragement to their people see a major increase in employee productivity. Great managers display genuine care and concern for their people. They building strong, trusting relationships with their staff, they can engender an open and positive work atmosphere in which employees feel supported and engaged. They care just as much about performance as they do about their people as individuals. They set the stage for performance by determining those metrics that matter most and finding ways to individually motivate employees to work and strive harder. Finally, great managers value and invest in talent.

Develop Employees Strengths. Great leaders get their people to undertake tasks that will use their greatest strengths, resulting in an increased ability for individuals to say that they have an opportunity to do what they do best. Consider using Gallup’s Strengths Finder – an online assessment of personal talent that reveals areas of greatest potential for developing strengths.

Celebrate Success: Eighty-eight percent of engaged employees say they experienced enjoyment for much of the previous day, versus more than two-thirds (67%) of actively disengaged employees. Often it’s just about providing opportunities for people to connect during the day; sharing a coffee, laughing together, celebrating someone’s success. It’s the little things that make a big difference to cultivating emotional energies during the working day.

Encourage people to make independent decisions:  People want to feel in control of what they do. Harvard Psychologist Daniel Gilbert suggests that people come into the world with a passion for control and if they lose control at any point between their entrance and their exit, they become unhappy, helpless and depressed. Not feeling in control is one of the greatest sources of work stress. And conversely, greater feelings of control are linked to higher productivity at work and greater satisfaction in nearly every area of life.

Make everyone understand how important they are: Not every employee is on the front line with the customer, but every employee is still responsible for customer engagement. It is common for employees in supporting or behind-the-scenes roles – such as administration, accounts, IT, and research and design etc. to feel like their positions are not essential when it comes to engaging customers. But they could not be more wrong. Even if they spend day after day performing their duties without ever seeing a customer, their work is still vital to the customer experience, or else they would not be there. Great managers help employees understand how every role in the organisation connects to the customer through the company’s mission and purpose. Every direct or indirect point of contact between a company and a customer has the potential to make a customer feel more engaged or less

Hold managers accountable: Highly engaged organizations hold managers accountable — not just for their team’s engagement, but also for how it relates to their team’s overall performance.

15 more tips to inspire, motivate and improve engagement: are available in previous paper; just click the following link for more ideas: “Dare to be….15 tips to inspire and motivate”

Click here for a link to the full Gallup report

“To win customers – and a bigger share of the marketplace – companies must first win the hearts and minds of their employees.”

Engagement Questions:

Questionnaire Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
I know what is expected of me at work?
I have all the materials and equipment I need to do my work well?
I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day at work?
In the last seven days I have received recognition or praise for good work?
My manager or someone at work seems to care about me as a person?
There is someone at work who encourages my development?
My opinions seem to count at work?
The mission and purpose of my company makes me feel like my work is important?
My colleagues are committed to doing quality work?
I have a good friend at work?
In the last six months I have talked with someone about my progress?
In the last year I have had the opportunities to learn and develop at work?
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