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Employee Engagement Key For The Economy

With so many organizations focusing on engaging their employees, why aren't global engagement levels increasing? With low engagement in the workforce, there are serious repercussions for the economy.

According to Gallup’s latest poll, employee engagement has been pretty stagnant. Only 32% of U.S. workers were engaged in their jobs in 2015, compared to 31.5% the previous year.

Defining Employee Engagement

There isn't always a shared meaning of what engagement means, nor is there a universally understood method for developing it.

In The Best of Gallup Management Journal 2001-2007, Jerry Krueger and Emily Killham describe three types of employees:

·      Engaged employees work with passion, and they feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.

·      Not-Engaged employees are essentially “checked out.” They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time – but not energy or passion – into their work.

·      Actively Disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.

David Mizne of defines employee engagement as “proactively and passionately adding value while aligning with the company mission.” In his opinion, this can be hard to quantify. “An engaged employee wears it on their face, demonstrates it in their work and in their workplace communication.”

Faulty Engagement Surveys

Gallup sees a clear divide emerging within the engagement industry. Technology makes it easy to create an "employee survey" and call it an engagement program, but metrics on their own don't drive change or increase performance.

According to Gallup, companies that focus exclusively on measuring engagement rather than on improving engagement fail to make necessary changes to meet employees' needs. These shortcomings include:

·      Viewing engagement as a survey or program instead of as an ongoing, disciplined method to achieve higher performance.

·      Focusing more heavily on survey data or reports than on developing people.

·      Defining engagement as a percentage of employees not dissatisfied or neutral, instead of a state of strong employee involvement, commitment and enthusiasm.

·      Relying on measures that tell leaders and managers what they want to hear – "We're doing great!" – rather than research-based metrics that set a high bar and uncover problems that are hindering engagement and performance.

·      "Feeding the bears," or measuring workers' satisfaction or happiness levels and catering to their wants, instead of treating employees as stakeholders of their future and their company's future.

7 Future Trends in Employee Engagement

In his blog, 7 Fascinating Employee Engagement Trends for 2016, Mizne lists the following engagement trends for the coming year, and writes about how to create a more engaged workforce:

1. Engagement will go up (but just a little).

According to Gallup’s latest poll, employee engagement has been pretty stagnant. Only 32% of U.S. workers were engaged in their jobs in 2015, compared to 31.5% the previous year.

2. Millennials will (still) provide a challenge.

In 2015, millennials became the largest generation in the US workforce. Businesses should keep in mind they are driven by open communication, a great company culture, involvement with causes, and achieving purpose and fulfillment.

3. More compassionate leadership.

People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. It turns out that the opposite is also true. An inspiring manager creates more engaged teams.

4. More employee feedback more often.

Studies show that the vast majority of employees who received little or no feedback were actively disengaged. Engagement goes up dramatically when employees received feedback about their weaknesses, and even more so when they received feedback about strengths.

5. Work/Life Balance will become Work/Life Blend.

The best companies are embracing job flexibility. More companies will continue on this path as long as the numbers prove it’s working.

6. People analytics will grow.

Josh Bersin in an article, The Geeks Arrive In HR: People Analytics Is Here, reports a shift towards “big data in HR” began in 2011 and exploded rapidly. He predicts that people analytics will look at productivity, turnover, and the people-issues that drive customer retention and satisfaction.

7. Technology will focus on the employee.

One of the biggest trends is a new breed of pulse tools, feedback apps, and anonymous social networking technologies. These advanced methods provide regular check-ins with employees to understand their challenges and will eventually replace annual performance reviews.

Hope for the Future

In 2016, leadership has more tools at its disposal to predict and improve employee engagement. Perhaps in 2017, Gallup’s survey will report a positive radical shift in how people show up to work.

·       Jiordin Castle of Appirio writes that, in May of 2015, Fortune reported that a record 86% of employees were happy with their jobs.

·      The Society for Human Resource Management reported that employees felt respected, trusted senior management, got along with their bosses, and felt motivated at work

But in a survey by that reported similar positive findings, 73% of employees polled said that they were “thinking about another job”; 43% even said they were more likely to consider a new job than they were a year earlier.Here are predictions that author Castle includes:

Here are predictions that author Castle includes:

·      Employee engagement will become a key HR objective.

·      Gamification will drive corporate goals and planning (at its core, gamification is the use of gaming components to accelerate learning)

·      The despised annual performance review will finally die.

·      Peer-to-peer recognition will increase.

·  A new attrition risk will emerge: low-commitment employees.

Overall, studies have shown that in just about every business, the more attention given to employee engagement and employee well-being, the better the business performance.

“Business is more about emotions than most businesspeople care to admit.” ~ Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D, Nobel Prize Laureate and Behavioral Economist

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put strengths-based leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to build a company culture built on trust? Transformational leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a transformational leader who inspires individuals and organizations to achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders create a culture where respect and trust flourish.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i 2.0, Hogan Lead, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture strengths-based conversations in the workplace. You can become an inspiring leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area executive coaching and leadership development firm helping innovative companies and law firms develop emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders. We help build coaching cultures of positive engagement.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
 Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workplace Expert

I coach leaders to cultivate clarity, creativity, focus, trust, and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture.

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders. 

Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica.

 “Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded rare "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Alan Weiss, Ph.D., President, Summit Consulting Group

Are you an executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results?

Did you know that research has demonstrated, that the most effective leaders model high emotional intelligence, and that EQ can be learned? It takes self-awareness, empathy, and compassion to become a more emotionally intelligent leader. 

Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company.  Mindful leadership starts from within.

I am a consulting psychologist and executive coach. I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Utilizing instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with personal values.

I have been chosen as an expert to appear on radio and TV, MSNBC, CBS Health Watch and in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Forbes and Fast Company.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness.

After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity, and more stress resiliency helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

For more information, please go to, write to, or call 415-546-1252.

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