This past week I conducted a webcast at the request of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), whom most of you know is where I worked for the past 8 years as Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer until launching my own global workforce solutions firm this summer. I am pleased to continue to work with SHRM on a contractual basis as a thought leader, speaker, and facilitator of their curriculum. I was asked to focus on a topic that—according to recent research—is one of the most important business challenges for CEOs today—Employee Engagement. More than 600 registrants joined me live, and I’m sure many more will access throughout 2015 (that’s how long SHRM keeps its webcasts archived). Here are a few highlights that I shared about the current state of the workforce and why employee engagement should be top of mind for every HR professional and other business leaders.

The workforce will continue to shift dramatically over the next 10-20 years making it more diverse, more global, more hyper-connected, and virtual. For example, by 2020 50% of the workforce will be made up of Millenials; by 2030, 54 percent of new workers will be people of color; today, the global workforce is nearly 50% women; the buying power of people of color is estimated to be $3 Trillion; nearly 40% of the workforce today works part-time; and 10% of the world’s population has a disability; to name a few. Additionally, in a recent study released by Deloitte Consulting entitled, “Global Human Capital Trends 2014: Engaging the 21st Century Workforce, human capital challenges will plague organizations who don’t focus on employee engagement NOW. The list below illustrates a few of the grave results reported by CHROs and CEOs.

  • 86% – Don’t have adequate leadership pipeline
  • 76% – Have a significant engagement and retention problem
  • 77% – Don’t have right HR skills
  • 75% – Struggling to attract and recruit top talent
  • 26% – Employees plan to change jobs within a year
  • 17% – Have a compelling employer brand

 

Moreover, only 40% of companies are focused on Employee Engagement, and 87% of C-Suite executives recognize that disengaged employees is the biggest threat to their businesses. When I conducted a live poll on the webcast asking: “for how many of you does your organizations administer employee engagement surveys at least once a year?” the results were pretty consistent with the stats above—46% reported yes. While 52% said that they were not. To NOT be focusing on this critical issue is a “going out of business” strategy because employee engagement is a key driver for talent acquisition, talent productivity and performance, and talent retention. There is a real cost to the bottom line when employees quit but don’t leave; when employees show up at work to get a paycheck but don’t produce; and when employees sabotage your employer brand and undermine every new program, policy and project. The Gallup Organization, Towers Watson, the Hay Group, and other global consultancies have been tracking Employee Engagement stats for years. The reality is that in most of the research, only 30% of employees across the country are engaged (globally only 35% are engaged). That means a whopping 70% of employees are either disengaged or actively disengaged. Either way, it costs companies billions in lost productivity and turnover.

What are the 5 Key Drivers of Employee Engagement?

  1. The work itself
  2. The management environment
  3. Flexibility and inclusion of the workplace
  4. Ability to learn and grow
  5. Trust and meaning from leadership

In my next blog (coming Dec. 20, 2014), I will further describe each of these and identify who’s most engaged and who’s not and why. I’ll also share what companies who are listed as Best Places to Work are doing to address this issue. Finally, in part three of this series (coming Jan. 2, 2015), I’ll outline 12 strategies that you can implement to increase employee engagement and loyalty.

If you would like to access the recent webcast that I presented to see the slides and hear more in detail, click here: http://www.shrm.org/multimedia/webcasts/pages/1214davis.aspx

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