A recent Gallup poll indicates that worker engagement is up to 31.5%, the highest point ever since Gallop started polling worker engagement since 2000.  Even more astounding is that worker engagement is up almost 2% since 2013.

For those who don’t hear it, can’t perceive it…there was sarcasm bleeding out of that entire statement.  First, I find it painful to think that only 31% of the American work force is engaged in their job.  Second as an instructional designer I find the 51% disengaged portion of the work force a more troubling number.

The part I don’t find surprising is the dynamic of who is and is not engaged.  Managers and upper executives vs manufacturing and production, baby boomers vs millennials.  Unfortunately, I believe our new culture of ‘give me what I think I deserve’ in the millennial age group lends to this removing the need for a work ethic that traditionals and baby boomers grew up with.

But none of that is either here nor there, the real issue here is engagement in the workplace.  The article suggests that the rise in engagement is because employees have projected their need to be engaged on managerial positions.  Managers have taken the mantle of leadership, as they should, and tried to find new ways to engage employees properly.

Companies that push for employee engagement for the sake of having more engaged employees are likely to find the effects to be short lived and ineffective, while companies to engage employees in order to succeed and grow as a whole are more likely to see a truly effective engagement program grow and prosper.

While my experience with the private sector is limited at best, I’ve seen my share of leaders who fill the spectrum from good to bad and I understand that asking the best and most out of employees for the good of the whole is how great leaders achieve their goals.  Hard work and understanding that your contribution supports the whole of the organization should be enough reward to earn an employees dedication to the job.  Maybe instead of asking managers to be more engaging, we should ask employees to be less concerned about what they get out of it and find a way to help them understand that when everyone works together everyone prospers together.

Just my .02

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