Hold your hands out in front of you, palms facing each other, about shoulder width apart. The space between them is the gap between your employees and the level of engagement you either want to have or think you already have. Now move your hands together about two inches each. That’s all the closer you are likely to get, if you’re lacking any one of these three things:
- Great content.
- Comfortable, effective technology.
- Leadership commitment.
Doubt it? Time for a reality check. Odds are your employees doubt you. According to a Gallup poll released in October 2013, 13 percent of employees are engaged at work, worldwide. Twenty four percent are actively disengaged — unhappy, unproductive, likely to bring down their colleagues — definitely not exerting any discretionary effort.
Not your workers, though, right? Maybe. If you’ve read this far, you are quite likely savvy enough about the benefits of employee engagement that you effectively promote one, two or all three of the necessary components of an engaged workforce. Good for you. You know you can do more. You may even be willing to do more, but will it be enough and will it be the right moves?
Content is king, queen and the court jester There is nothing like great content. Unfortunately, a great deal of what passes for corporate content — and specifically, employee content — is nothing like great content. How does your employee content stack up? Would you read it? Do you read it?
Are you one of the guilty parties that produces content for its employees, then assumes it is worthwhile information for … someone — and doesn’t read it, yourself? There are more of you out there than you may think. Many businesses, leaders, managers and other stakeholders believe “our content is good for them.” Who is “them”?
If you’re not one of “them” that finds your message:
- useful, or
- entertaining …
… then who do you think is actually going to read it? If you are too busy and/or self-important to consume the information, do you wonder who else might also be turning up their nose? The likely answer, statistically speaking, is 87 percent of your workforce.
But communicate, we must. So your communications staff (or worse — the lowest people on the totem pole who couldn’t say “no”) conceive, draft, edit, publish, produce and distribute content for your employees. Not to get too “business school” on you, but there is an opportunity cost for those efforts. If your employee communications are missing the mark with as much as 87 percent of your intended audience, would your communicators’ efforts be better put elsewhere? There are only so many work hours in a week and your communications people do not work for free. I hope.
Of course, you cannot abandon employee communication efforts. Unless 13 percent sounds like too much engagement.
If this rings a bell for you, then understand you’ve committed at least two of the three sins: not-so-great content, and lack of commitment from leadership.
If you don’t give enough of a rodent’s rear anatomy to want to engage with the content, why on earth do you think your other employees will? Because they love you so much? Are they desperate to hear from you in the midst of their daily tasks? The love from 13 percent is better than no love at all, I suppose.
Read the full article on Medium to see two more reasons why employees do not fully engage with their employers.