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Where is the Disconnect between Human Resource Departments and Employee Engagement Initiative Results?

BY AL LUTCHIN, CAREER PARTNERS INTERNATIONAL – MISSISSAUGA – HAMILTON

A study by HR Executive Circle discovered that 90% of senior management felt that employee engagement has a big impact on the success of the business. Yet HR Managers globally are admitting that their employee engagement initiatives are falling short in their delivery of results. Recent Gallup poll data shows that 70% of the workforce in the United States admits to either being disengaged or actively disengaged in the workplace. One might ask what keeps employee engagement initiatives from succeeding? Where is the Disconnect?

The answer lies somewhere between the HR department and the CEO’s office. HR must be the driver and champion of engagement conversations around the senior management table. However, this is easier said than done when you consider the day-to-day firefighting of HR in relation to the C-suite team focusing on meeting their quarterly key performance indicators.

The word engagement sometimes conjures up a thought process associated with lofty goals that are more difficult to measure and take stock in the measurement of return on investment. However, smart management teams are now starting to get more “engaged” with engagement. They see this as a pathway to improving their competitive position in their industries, to attracting and retaining talent that can be developed into potential leadership for their organization, bridging the generation gaps in the workforce, driving innovation in all parts of an organization as well as reducing absenteeism and presenteeism.

Engagement strategies over the next five years will be one of the single most important conversations going on inside the board rooms of global, national and regional organizations in both the private and public sectors. As leaders struggle to cope with change, to reinvent their services and products as well as to have a workforce that is both physically and mentally present, HR will need to be very proactive and blaze the trail with new solutions. By combining effective efforts to increase the amount of open communication occurring in the workplace, HR can tap into the mindsets of employees and discover how they desire to be engaged by their employers. Developing open communication and a coaching culture should be top priorities to drive engagement and transformation in the modern organization.