in Difficult Times
Give more discretionary effort
Receive better customer service ratings
Speak well of the organization
Are more likely to stay
Voice more ideas
Adapt to and facilitate change
Engage other employees
Yearly competitions 44 U.S. Cities
10,000 employers of all sizes have applied since 2004
2.1 million employees surveyed
Data from 37-question engagement survey and 200,000+
Have employee engagement levels decreased since the
Are some employers maintaining or gaining employee
engagement in spite of the economy?
If so, what are these employers doing differently and
What can employers do to lessen the disengaging effects
of fear, uncertainty and doubt?
Can this be an opportunity to actually increase employee
Compared to last year at this time employees
where I work are:
About the same.
“We don’t see a psychological recession….
During the last five years, overall levels of
engagement have remained relatively
stable, at just over 50 percent globally.”
(Conference Board Review, May/June, 2008, Vol. 45, Issue 3)
The majority of employers saw decreases in
-- Q1 2010 results from 62,625 employees across the U.S.
A 2010 report from The Conference Board based on
a survey of 5,000 workers found that only 45 percent
are satisfied with their jobs - down from 61. 1
percent in 1987.
Almost 1 in 4 workers in an Employee Benefit
Research Institute survey postponed plans to retire
this year, with 29 percent of those citing the poor
economy as the reason.
According to a study reporting on HBR Online,
many high potential employees are considering a
job change as the economy strengthens.
“Although it is more difficult to be successful in the
current state of the economy and increased
competition, the company has maintained focus on its
goals and keeps its employees informed. They want
everyone to be successful and they provide the
necessary resources to do so.”
“This is an awesome place to work where the sky is
the limit. I trust the leadership and feel secure,
despite the economy.”
“Look for many departures when the economy picks
“Stress levels are very high and there seems to be no
sympathy for employees that are directly affected by
this economy, only blame. The entire country is in
financial stress and yet somehow this company
manages to find a way to place the lack of sales on its
How some employers are gaining ground:
Setting a clear, compelling direction that empowers each
Open and honest communication,
Continued focus on career growth and development,
Recognizing and rewarding high performance, and
Employee benefits that demonstrate a strong
commitment to employee well being.
Develop a clear and credible plan for, and path to, success.
Make sure the plan is clearly communicated from top to
Seek and welcome every idea for making the plan a reality
and delivering more value, e.g., big/small improvements,
Don’t sugar-coat the reality/challenge.
Senior leaders are open, visible, and vulnerable.
Involve employees in idea generation and reward the ideas
Hold “50-50” meetings.
Provide a steady diet of bite-size status reports
Conduct frequent “pulse” surveys.
Focus employees on company growth as key to future
Managers hold “career check-ins” and paint a picture of
possible options and scenarios.
Challenge employees to create their own opportunities by
meeting “un-met needs”.
Encourage temporary job trials, job swapping, cross-training,
and skill-building rotations.
Don’t stop investing in employee growth; create everyday
Challenge all supervisors to notice and appreciate employee
Celebrate team accomplishments.
Spread the word about customer success stories.
Confront and coach poor performers.
Resist temptation to “crank up the negative consequences.”
Conduct surveys, listening sessions, and/or focus groups.
Remind employees about all benefits and their value.
Hold meeting to put the team’s life-work issues on the table
Create “Red Zone” awareness and encourage
Educate about stress/time management, healthy diet,
exercise, and lifestyle.
Encourage socializing, fun, and stress-relief.
"Kites rise highest against the
wind, not with it."
-- Sir Winston Churchill
Join us in San Diego on June 30th
SHRM Global Conference
when we will present:
“Navigating the Crosswinds of