Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you’ve been barraged with reports telling you how the American workforce is utterly disengaged. Gallup recently reported that only one-third of American workers are engaged and 16% are actively disengaged. In a 2013 survey, only 24% of the 550 executives surveyed reported that employees in their organization are highly engaged. Given that the cost of disengagement is estimated between $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year, it’s probably time to get to the bottom of this issue.
You're at a business lunch and you ask the waiter if he can substitute the salad for fries. With embarrassment on his face, the waiter says he must first check with his manager for any menu changes.
You bring an item to return 31 days after purchase, although the policy says 30 days. The clerk says she would like to process the return, but she can't because it is past the deadline and she's not allowed to make exceptions.
Editor's note: This post was updated in January, 2019.
We’ve been talking about employee engagement since the 1990s; for decades before that, we talked about employee satisfaction. Whatever the name, we've definitely spent a fair amount of time on the topic. In fact, many companies invest significant effort in measuring and reporting on employee engagement, and building programs and activities to enhance it.
But that's not why you need to invest in it.
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