Minnesota’s workers are “least engaged” in the nation
Post by Susie Bell. Susie is a Director at Himle Rapp. You can follow her on Twitter @swbell.
There have been quite a few “best-of” lists released recently, and Minneapolis has ranked near the top of many of them. Everyone was deservedly excited when The Trust for Public Land named us the best big city for public parks. Fewer people were probably proud of being named #4 on Travel and Leisure’s snobbiest cities list.
A list that sparked my interest was the Gallup poll on most engaged and least engaged workers in the country. It found workers in Minnesota were the least engaged in the entire nation. With so many Fortune 500 companies headquartered here, as well as many large, successful private corporations like Cargill, Minnesota should be doing better.
As Gallup put it in their announcement, “Engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work. Those who are not engaged are satisfied with their workplaces, but are not emotionally connected to them — and these employees are less likely to put in discretionary effort. The actively disengaged workers are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace and jeopardize the performance of their teams.” In other words, employee engagement matters. It’s not just a “nice to have,” or something to think about when leadership has extra time or money.
There are countless ways employers can try to increase the satisfaction of their employees – from ping pong tables and dog-friendly offices to innovative bonus plans and community relations programs that really make a difference. But there are also very simple things that leaders can do to let their employees know their value.
Ask Them. Help yourself and your management team understand the mood and engagement level of your employees by asking them directly. Incorporate employee surveys on an annual/regular basis, and provide other ongoing opportunities for employees to provide feedback and input (email, internet site, company blog, comment cards in common areas). Then, share the results and identify specific changes you will be making or actions taken as a result of what you learned. Demonstrate that their voice matters.
Tell Them. Share company news with employees first or at least simultaneously with a large public announcement. Don’t let them read about their employer in the news without hearing it from you first. Additionally, be straightforward – especially with bad news. Don’t sugarcoat it and don’t be afraid to tell them you don’t know all the answers. They’ll appreciate the candor and will be more likely to trust what you tell them next because of it.
- Involve Them. Communicate to employees how their job matters. Make sure they connect what they do each day to the overall goals of the company and how they contribute to the company’s success. Without that connection, it’s much easier to disengage.
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