For most people, paid work is unsettling and energy-sapping. Despite employee engagement racing up the priority list of CEOs (see, for example, The Conference Board’s CEO Challenge 2014), our research into workplaces all over the world reveals a sorry state of affairs: workers who are actively disengaged outnumber their engaged colleagues by an overwhelming factor of 2:1. The good news is that there are companies out there bucking the trend, and we’ve discovered how.
Over a five-year timeframe, we studied 32 exemplary companies (collectively employing 600,000 people) across seven industries including hospitality, banking, manufacturing, and hospitals. At these companies, the engaged workers outnumber the actively disengaged ones by a 9:1 ratio. To understand what drives that tremendous advantage, we looked for contrasts between them and a much larger set of companies we know to be struggling to turn around bland and uninspiring workplaces.
We found seven elements in place…
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