Having Engaged Employees is an Essential Part of Innovation

engaged employees

It is hard to imagine that a company can be truly successful if its employees are not adequately motivated and engaged. When you have engaged employees, they take a personal interest in the success of their company. Otherwise, they are likely to do what is expected but lack the motivation to go much beyond that. Without motivation, there is no innovation.

Considering what is at stake, it may be discouraging to know that a recent study by Gallup found that only 30% of American workers are fully engaged in their jobs. In this context, engaged was defined as “…deeply involved in and enthusiastic about their work and actively contributing to their organization.” This was up slightly from the 28% reported during the economic turndown of 2009. The report also found that 18% of workers are actively disengaged, being emotionally disconnected and jeopardizing team performance.

The good news to be deduced from this study is that motivated and engaged employees can provide a competitive edge that many organizations are lacking. CultureAmp, a company that analyzes motivation and engagement in organizations, identified the top five drivers of employee engagement as shown by employee perceptions of their company:

  • Confidence in the company's leadership, and their ability to make good decisions.
  • A perception that there are good opportunities for advancement in the organization, and the possibility for transitioning to a different type of role.
  • Being shown that they are important to the success of the organization. This shows the importance of leaders showing a genuine interest in their employees.
  • Feeling they are able to make a contribution to their field. This shows whether employees feel they are able to develop themselves and their craft.
  • Having a vision of what the organization seeks to do and achieve, communicated in a way employees can relate to.

In their analysis of these top five drivers, CultureAmp found two distinct themes:

  1. LeadershipShowing that they are capable of making good decisions. Demonstrating to employees that they are important to the company. Creating and communicating a vision that is truly motivating.
  2. Learning and DevelopmentEmployees want to see that there is a path forward in their organization. Even though not everyone can have the same opportunities for advancement, they want to know that they can make a contribution to their field, or to their own personal development or mastery.

These two themes may be surprising to many because the importance of such things as compensation or salary came in lower than expected. The top five drivers of engagement are not easy to deliver but well worth the effort. If you are successful, you will have a team of highly motivated, engage employees which is foundational to driving innovation within an organization.

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4 thoughts on “Having Engaged Employees is an Essential Part of Innovation

  1. There is a tool used in Innovation Engineering which translates the strategic plan of an organization into actionable requests for help from all employees. This type of strategic activation will supercharge all of these 5 bullets. Leaders need to lead by stating the “what, the “why” and giving guidance on the “how” — empowering their employees to drive toward the solutions.

    • I like the point of “giving guidance on the how”. Some (if not most) leaders can’t stop themselves from dictating the how. In my experience, if you define the “what” and “why” with enough vision/reach .. others are much better at defining the “how”.

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