Employee Engagement “Recession” May Be Thawing

25 Apr

Employee attitudes about work engagement, hit hard by the recession, may be improving, according to a survey of 62,000 employees collected in the first quarter of 2010. The study, conducted by Quantum Workplace of Omaha, Nebraska, shows overall employee engagement increasing in comparison to results from previous years. The overall engagement index increased to 87.7, up from the previous two years. In 2008 the overall index was 86.58 and in 2009 the index was 86.68.

The survey collects responses for ten dimensions, including employee perceptions of senior leadership, team effectiveness, fair compensation and manager effectiveness. “This is the first sign we’ve seen that the impact of the recession on employee engagement may be easing”, according to Quantum Workplace president Gregory Harris.

“Although these results are encouraging, we have a long way to go in creating highly engaged workplaces”, according to Mark Hirschfeld, Principal at SilverStone Group in Omaha, Nebraska, who has collaborated with Quantum Workplace on this study over the past three years. “There is a large group of employees who experienced poor leadership over the last two years, and many of them are still disengaged. This disengagement has impacted their productivity to the point where they will leave for better work environments”, said Hirschfeld, co-author of Re-Engage: How America’s Best Places to Work Inspire Extra Effort in Extraordinary Times, published earlier this year by McGraw-Hill.

Harris concludes: “The companies we study who have the highest levels of engagement aren’t taking anything for granted right now. They’re continuing to invest in their employees, and our data indicates they’ll be in a better position to make their way out of this recession than companies with disengaged workforces. These companies are winning because they’ve built an engaging culture.”

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