Strengths & engagement

Startling Statistics

The statistics on employee engagement are startling. Just over 30% of US workers say they are engaged in their work. Taken globally, this statistic drops to 13%.* What could be going on and why does it matter?

Employee engagement is defined as “Engaged employees are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work.”* In what way does a 32.5% engagement rate sound like success or effectiveness? It doesn’t. There is significant room for improvement in the American workplace.

Why, though, does it matter? Employee engagement is tied to productivity. Impact and effectiveness are significantly impacted when employees remain engaged in their work.

We’ve all had experiences of working on things that were life-giving. We’ve also had the experience of doing things we don’t enjoy. Sometimes, expense reports have to be done.

Learn About Your Talents

One way to begin addressing engagement is by helping employees work from their talents. Identification must be followed by claiming strengths and claiming strengths must be followed by intentional application to individual work.

There is no purpose in knowing something that is never utilized.

“A recent analysis of multiple studies reveals that managers whose talents are aligned with their job demands achieve, on average, 15% more in sales and 20% more in profit, have 24% fewer unscheduled absences and deal with 13% lower employee turnover than the average.”**

I think that is a result any CEO would like to see and explain to their Board. Stop and think for a moment about what you do best.

a minor diversion…ergh, exploration

What are the usual questions you ask during an interview? I’ve been wondering recently if one of the best interview questions we could ever ask would be something like, “Please tell me about a time you got to do something that you do particularly well.” How does that experience relate to everyday expectations in the workplace? If there is not alignment between what the applicant does well and what is needed in the organization, it’s likely they won’t be working from their talents.

Whatever the employee engagement may be telling us about the state of the American (and Global) workplace, it tells me one thing. The next time I have the opportunity to hire someone, I am going to spend more time exploring their talents and less time checking off the interview question list. I will spend more time exploring how their talents engage in the workplace than any other measure. the more I learn about talents and learn about how my talents are used or underutilized, the more I am able to see how engagement levels change based on how talents are employed.

*Read more from the Gallup, February 8, 2016 article.

**Read more from Gallup here.