The latest report by Gallup on employee engagement is out. What’s interesting about this year’s (2017) State of the American Workplace Report as compared to previous years is that it’s not really interesting. Indeed, not much has changed over the past several years.
It’s a sad fact but the majority of employees are not engaged and haven’t been for a long time. In 2016, only 33% of employees in the United States were engaged, and employee engagement as a whole increased only 3% from 2012-2016. These findings underscore the impact that employee engagement has when it comes to the overall success of U.S. organizations. In fact, in the first iteration of the Gallup report, Gallup found that disengaged employees cost the country somewhere between $450 and $550 billion each year.
As communications and HR professionals, we understand the importance that effective company communications can have on employee engagement. However, while most companies pay lip service to its importance, few have implemented strategies to address these challenges head on. At theEMPLOYEEapp, we have watched and worked with enterprise, medium and small companies who are taking steps to save their companies money and improve morale by using technology to better engage with their workforces. Many are starting to realize and to pioneer the use of mobile technology as a way to communicate with and engage with a disparate workforce that is not beholden to desktop computers, but carries an Apple or Android mobile device with them 24/7.
Gallup’s research compared companies from the highest and lowest quartiles of engagement levels. One of the key differences that Gallup found between the two segments was the effective use of communications strategies implemented by the top companies. The study showed that those companies in the highest quartile experience 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales, and 21% higher profitability among many other positive metrics resulting from higher engagement levels.
For a company with operations around the world or in more than one location in the U.S., communicating with employees can be viewed as a daunting task. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With the use of mobile technology it has never been easier to communicate simultaneously and instantaneously. Hopefully 2017 will be the year that more companies recognize the opportunity that exists to connect, communicate and engage with their employees and the results of Gallup’s 2018 report will become something more than just a repeat of years’ past.