by Jack Craver | October 30, 2015

benefitsproA new survey finds little evidence that employee engagement initiatives are effective.

The poll was conducted by theEMPLOYEEapp, a native app used by companies to set up messaging systems for employees, and included feedback from corporate and internal communications leaders at over 300 companies.

The survey found that while 71 percent of employers have implemented engagement programs, only 37 percent of those that have such programs believe their workers are actually engaged.

“Employee engagement continues to be a major challenge for companies and it is the number one challenge we hear from the many internal communications and human resource professionals that we speak to daily,” said Jeff Corbin, founder and CEO of theEMPLOYEEapp.

“As the workforce population continues to skew younger, employers are now being forced to think outside of the box and reimagine how employee engagement can be accomplished. Based on the results of our survey, there is a lot of room for improvement.”

What kinds of stuff are companies doing to promote engagement? The most popular tool is training courses, used by 72 percent of employers and open door policies, cited by 71 percent. Sixty-one percent report offering reimbursements for membership in industry groups.

Many of the other popular policies cited were not geared specifically toward increasing employee engagement but could presumably do so by boosting worker morale. For instance, two-thirds reported allowing telecommuting and flexible schedules, while 59 percent offer tuition reimbursement.

While more than 90 percent of employers said that method of communication with workers was an important contributor to employee engagement, many said that their company wasn’t communicating in a way that reaches digitally-dependent millennials in the workplace. Only 16 percent said that they’re making regular use of mobile apps.

Now that most employers realize they’re losing touch with many of their workers, they need to respond quickly to solve the problem, Corbin said.

“The failure of their companies to stay ahead of the technological curve and to appeal to the needs of their employees will only become more evident as lower productivity, due to lack of engagement, continues,” he said.

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