3 Requirements for High Employee Engagement

Sustainable Engagement

Are your people really engaged in their work or not?  What does current research tell us? What are the implications of the results?

Falling levels of engagement are leading indicators that your business is likely to experience a fall in productivity, a decline in customer service, and increasing rates of absenteeism and employee turnover.

Disengagement, in all its forms, is a real risk to the organization’s productivity and performance. This is especially important in increasing competitive and volatile times, especially as organizations downsize with reduced workforces having to do more with less.

The 3 Elements of Sustainable Engagement

Tower Watson describes sustainable engagement describes the intensity of employees’ connection to their organization, based on three core elements:

  • The extent of employees’ discretionary effort committed to achieving work goals (being engaged)
  • An environment that supports productivity in multiple ways (being enabled)
  • A work experience that promotes well-being (feeling energized)

Traditional engagement

  • Belief in company goals and objectives
  • Emotional connection (pride, would recommend employer)
  • Willingness to give extra effort to support success


  • Freedom from obstacles to success at work
  • Availability of resources to perform well
  • Ability to meet work challenges effectively


  • Ability to maintain energy at work
  • Supportive social environment
  • Feelings of enthusiasm/accomplishment at work

How Engaged are You & Your Team?

A study by Towers Watson in 2012 shows that only one in three employees are highly engaged – the rest are unsupported, detached or disengaged.  These types of engagement and whether people in each category are engaged, enabled or energized is shown below.

Types of Engagement & Attributes Mix

Types of Engagement & Attributes Mix

Global Levels of Engagement (Tower Watson, 2012)

2012 Global Levels of Engagement On average, only one in three of your employees are engaged – the rest are not sustainably engaged.

About one in five is engaged but lack the necessary support to perform and/or a feeling of achievement and support at work.

Nearly one in five is detached – they have the support they need to perform, and the feeling of achievement and energy, but they are not aligned and engaged with their work.

One in four is disengaged – they are not engaged, energized or enabled in their work.  As such they are unhappy in their work, and use your business as the means by which to share their unhappiness to other employees, clients and others.

What Does This Mean for Organisations?

Organisations need to take the time and make the effort to understand their people and where the engagement gaps are that need to be addressed.  To help engage people, and to create performance and the realization of the right outcomes and productivity you need to ensure:

  1. You have the right people
  2. Who are using the right tools, who have
  3. Access to the development of the skills and behaviours they need

So what are you going to do, and where can you work first to have the greatest impact?  Your people are your biggest asset not on your balance sheet – so invest in them!

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

How to Retain Future Talent

Keeping top young managers – your future talent pipeline – is hard.  Find out what they are looking for so you can retain them for longer.

You have spent a lot of time, effort, resources and money in getting the best young managers – but are you managing to retain them?Recent research shows that often they are thinking about the next step, even if they seem fully engaged.  Furthermore, it seems that employee-development programs aren’t delivering what is needed to make them want to stay.A survey cited  in HBR found that of young high achievers – 30 years old, on average and with strong academic records, degrees from elite institutions, and international internship experience – found the following:

  • 75% sent out résumés, contacted search firms, and interviewed for jobs at least once a year during their first employment stint;
  • Nearly 95% regularly engaged in related activities such as updating résumés and seeking information on prospective employers
  • On average, they left their companies after 28 months.

So why is this?

When surveyed (see below), the biggest discrepancies found are those that cost the resources and time – namely coaching and mentoring where the largest gaps.  The need for personalized development and support for the high achiever’s professional and personal ambitions are key – especially in the case of a competitive market for these skills, and where a lack of such skills are being cited as one of the biggest barriers to business growth.

The Career-development Gap

Young managers were asked, on a scale of 1 to 5, how important are these items to them and to what extent their employers provided them.

Source: Monika Hamori, Jie Cao, and Burak Koyuncu

Why is there this disconnect? Formal training is costly and can take employees off the job for short periods of time. Employers are understandably reluctant to make big investments in workers who might not stay long. But this creates a vicious circle: Companies won’t train workers because they might leave, and workers leave because they don’t get training. By offering promising young managers a more balanced menu of development opportunities, employers might boost their inclination to stick around.

The reality is if you train them you have better opportunity to retain them for longer.  If you don’t then they may move or, alternatively, they may “quit and stay” – becoming disengaged and impacting others with their negativity.

Business is about people first and foremost.  If people are truly your greatest assets, and you believe it, then you need to invest in them to help them produce a greater return.  Look at how you can help them help you by sourcing a customized approach to coaching, mentoring and developing their leadership, management, and commercial skills to grow your business

How do you develop and nurture your high achievers?  What has worked for you and what has not?

Share your ideas, insights, and experience!  Share the knowledge, share the wealth!




Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.