Senior leaders and managers, not employee themselves, are primarily responsible for employee engagement, according to a recent survey.

Conducted by Psychometrics Canada, the study found 84% respondents said it is not up to employees to engage themselves, but up to organizations to engage their employees.

“A paycheque is not enough,” said Mark Fitzsimmons, president of Psychometrics Canada. “To keep staff engaged, organizations need to give them the opportunity to use their skills, to be creative and, most of all, to be listened to. This survey demonstrates that many organizations understand this already, but few are taking the necessary steps to address it.”

The study polled 368 HR professionals across Canada, with the majority (69%) indicating employee engagement is problematic and is an issue in their organization.

The results differed across work environments, though. Those working in government (80.3%) and business (74.4%) sectors are more likely to identify engagement as a problem than are those in education (64.2%) and not-for-profit (54.2%) organizations.

Paying attention to employee opinions (71%) and communicating clear expectation (68%) were identified by those polled as the most effective ways to increase engagement.

In organizations that provide engagement training, the percentage of engaged employees rises by more than 10%, and the proportion that see engagement as a problem drops by 20%, the study noted.

Some of the most common results, said the participants, are a willingness to do more than expected (39%), higher productivity (27%), better working relationships (13%) and more satisfied customers (10%).

Disengaged employees also affect the output of their organizations. Survey respondents indicate that the most common results of disengagement are dysfunctional work relationships (29%), lower productivity (25%) and an unwillingness to go beyond the job description (17%).

“This research clearly shows that engagement, or the lack thereof, affects both the people and the finances of organizations,” says Shawn Bakker, psychologist at Psychometrics Canada.

Top tips for driving engagement

  1. Build positive work relationships.
  2. Ensure a good fit between people’s skills and their job requirements.
  3. Provide regular feedback on performance.
  4. Give opportunities to learn new skills.
  5. Give employees greater control over their work: stop micromanaging.
  6. Celebrate progress and recognize employees’ accomplishments.
  7. Share information: communicate the direction and strategy of the organization.
  8. Give employees the opportunity to share their ideas.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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