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  • Writer's pictureJaclyn T. Badeau

Pulse Point - Employee Engagement Drop & “The Great Resignation” are Connected

February 2022, trends so far…

In January, Gallup released a major headline about employee engagement – “U.S. Employee Engagement Drops for First Year in a Decade.”1 The study stated that in 2021 only 34% of employees were engaged. A few things came up for me:

1. I wasn’t that shocked

2. It’s sad that it dropped…It’s sad that only 34% of employees are engaged as of 2021…It’s sad that 36% is the highest this figure has been over the past 10 years…

3. It’s frustrating that more organizations aren’t taking action to improve employee engagement as it’s possible by taking small steps every day…

4. It’s all connected to the “Great Resignation

Let me elaborate…

About the “I wasn’t that shocked” part… I wasn’t too surprised as many organizations treat their employees as a number/a cost and ask, “what have you done for me lately.” I’ve seen it in many organizations across many industries, experienced it, and heard about it from many others. Employees aren’t engaged if they aren’t treated like humans with basic, individual, teamwork, and growth needs (Gallup’s Employee Engagement Model 2).

About the “sad” part… It’s sad that we only have ~one third of employees who are engaged in their job. Life is too short not to feel seen, heard, understood, cared for, appreciated, and/or fulfilled. And let’s face it, we spend a big chunk of our lives “at work,” so to not have these things relate to employee disengagement and can affect your overall well-being or happiness.

About the “frustrating” part… When employees have the resources to do their job, know how their role connects in with the overall organization, receive feedback for growth and development, and are recognized for their contributions, their engagement increases. There are many ways to achieve employee engagement over time; it takes a commitment from leadership to invest in their employees and action to integrate these principles in day to day and organizational tasks and initiatives. It is not impossible! You just have to get started and take small steps every day to accomplish this. We are all human, lets bring this to the workplace!

About the “connection to the “Great Resignation”” part… I’m sure you’ve heard the recent massive turnover at organizations being referred to as the “Great Resignation” by now… Interestingly, the Gallup survey noted that employee engagement took a massive hit in the second half off 2021… Coincidence, I think not… I actually think about this turnover as the “Great Reprioritization” for a couple reasons. One, over the first year and a half of the pandemic where most employee’s personal and professional lives were significantly impacted, it gave a lot of people AT THE SAME TIME to think about what was really important to them… Turns out, if they weren’t really engaged at work (aka their needs weren’t being met/they weren’t happy/etc.) already, then why stay? Re-prioritize what you can control. Life is too short… Second, many people aren’t in the right roles to begin with and too many employees are afraid to speak up and too many managers are afraid to make a change… When people are in the right roles that play to their strengths, they are motivated, and they will thrive. When your employees thrive, your organization benefits from that.

If you are still reading, then that means something has resonated with you…So now what? It’s time for action. Start by downloading my “Culture Pulse: Employee Engagement Questionnaire” here to assess where you and your organization are in your employee engagement culture journey.

I look forward to providing monthly pulse points to help you stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.

About Jaclyn T. Badeau, CPA, CGMA, MBA, EQ Certified

Jaclyn Badeau is the Founder and President of Badeau Consulting. She specializes in employee engagement initiatives that help companies inspire confidence back into their team for innovation and growth. Jaclyn’s background in cultivating high performing teams, delivering coaching and mentoring, serving as a global business risk advisor, and facilitating internal and external leadership training to a global workforce gives her the unique perspective of what employees need and what works. She is also a multi award recipient and passionate about sharing her expertise and knowledge in volunteer advisory and leadership positions roles for many associations and not-for-profits.

About Pulse Point

Pulse Point is a monthly blog to stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.


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