Revitalizing Employee Engagement


By Kyle Wierenga, Executive Partner, Analytics Guild

Employee engagement is at an all-time low. Research shows people are spending an average of 47% of their time thinking of something other than what they are doing. Less than 30% of employees report feeling engaged at work. On top of this, employee disengagement drives turnover, which can cost a company as much as 1.5 to 2x an employee’s salary.

When employees become disengaged and decide to leave the company, it can take years for a company to return to the same level of productivity. The business must add on the cost of advertising for the position and training the new employee, and it still may take more than a year for a new employee to get to the same level of productivity as the previous employee. Additionally, those that stayed on the team are affected by employee turnover: they see a coworker leaving and are left to deal with the turbulence, which in turn can weigh down their own engagement. The danger of low employee engagement is not only short-term churn, but a long-term negative spiral.

We can reverse these trends. It’s possible to track employee engagement at such a level of detail that we can know when an employee is becoming unengaged and change their experience mid-course. A manager with a robust analytics practice can look at the data and know whether one of their employees is engaged, and if they aren’t, carve out one-on-one time with that employee in order to re-engage them in the company’s mission. With the proper analytics, not only can we prevent the spiral toward disengagement and churn, but we can measure whether any activities or meetings designed to engage employees are actually effective. Data becomes a feedback loop that reverses the spiral, aiming all staff toward fully engaging their skills and interests in the workplace.

A full cultural change is possible. Employees can be happier with their work if they get the support that they actually need, managers can be more effective at creating team cohesion, and the business will thrive because the cost of churn has been lowered.

What’s more, this coupling of analytics with human resources also produces the sort of skills that employees will need for the future. Soft skill development is going to be the next market differentiator. The World Economic Forum that predicts that emotional intelligence, people management, and decision making are among the most critical skills for the future. We need to start learning today to be ready for tomorrow. Companies that can empower employees to think creatively, critically, and empathetically will not only have more engaged and productive employees, but also have an edge in the new marketplace.

The skills for analytics, decision-making, and emotional intelligence can be developed and honed through our one-on-one coaching, our opportunities for developing your human resources analytics strategy, or our group resilience training. Contact us today for more information.