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If employees in your organization are invested in the work they do and personally satisfied with their performance, they are more likely to be engaged in their jobs and therefore more apt to stay instead of looking for other career opportunities.

Though engagement levels stayed relatively constant between 2008 and 2010, the percentage of employees who had a high “intent to stay” fell from 27 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 22 percent in the third quarter of 2010, according to a report from consulting firm BlessingWhite, Inc.

The latest issue of Workforce Management Online published the following research from BlessingWhite on employee engagement, based on interviews with 11,000 employees, line managers and human resources executives in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Engagement is measured using employees’ contribution to their organization’s success and their own personal satisfaction in their work.

  • 31 percent of workers are fully engaged (fewer than 1 in 3)
  • 17 percent of workers are “completely disengaged”
  • About 22 percent of employees are “highly disengaged”
  • Satisfaction is influenced by how much employees trust their leaders: in North America, 50 percent of highly engaged employees trust executives in their organization
  • Workers are more likely to trust their direct supervisors than senior executives: in North America, 72 percent of employees trust their managers (behind India, at 82 percent, and China, at 78 percent)

The study also found that high employee engagement correlated to seven different actions taken by managers: feedback, involvement, delegation, recognition, coaching, talent utilization and community building.

Keeping good talent within your organization is an ongoing and active process, and though it can be challenging at times, you have the power to make decisions to create positive change. Ask yourself the following questions about how you manage your team:

1. How do you communicate feedback and recognition? Do you check in with your employees regularly to give them encouragement, training and constructive criticism about their work? How can you improve this process to foster employee engagement?

2. How actively involved are your employees in the decision-making process of the organization? Do they feel invested in changes that are made? Is their feedback heard and taken into account?

3. Do you trust your employees to work independently on projects? Do you have a tendency to micromanage instead of delegating? How can you empower your team to have ownership of their work?

4. Are your employees given adequate coaching and mentorship opportunities? How is knowledge shared and cultivated within the organization?

5. Do your employees have room to grow within the organization? How do you identify and cultivate leaders?

6. How would you define the culture of your organization? In what ways do you try to strengthen your team?

Feel free to share some of your responses in the comments below!

Learn more ways to increase employee engagement through EDSI’s leadership courses.

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