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Is There Ever Too Much Employee Engagement?

engagement typesGallup recently released the results of their latest State of the American Workplace poll regarding employee job satisfaction and engagement.  The headlines from this research indicate that 30% of the nation's workers were actively engaged and inspired in their jobs last year. Eighteen percent are actively disengaged and the remaining 52% are just hanging in there.

Why should we care?  Is employee satisfaction really that important if the business is achieving its desired results?  As it turns out, we do.  The Gallup report

 "shows that companies with 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010-2011 experienced 147% higher earnings per share (EPS) on average in 2011-2012 compared with their competition. In contrast, companies with a lower average of 2.6 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee experienced 2% lower EPS compared with their competition during that same time period. The exponential boost in earnings due to a higher engagement ratio is a competitive advantage that business leaders can't afford to ignore."

I dug a little deeper into this research with my colleagues David Almeda, Chief People Officer at Kronos and John Hollon, VP for editorial at ERE Media.  Listen to this podcast to hear what they have to say about the following questions:

  1. According to Gallup, engaged employees contribute more to the bottom line while actively disengaged employees cost US businesses $450-550 billion per year as they are “more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away.”   In what ways do you agree or disagree with those assertions?
  2. Gallup's data indicates that where workers are least satisfied they were much less likely to have “good work environments”. What do organizations need to do to create “a good work environment” that encourages employee engagement?
  3. The Gallup study and others demonstrate a link between employee engagement and customer satisfaction.  Are there exceptions to that rule?  And what specific aspects of employee engagement are most important to driving customer satisfaction and loyalty?
  4. Mark Twain once said you can't please all of the people all of the time.  There are some people who'll never be engaged in your organization.  How do leaders determine when enough is enough when it comes to investing in employee engagement.

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