Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

April 12 2013

Employee Engagement is Failing

By David McMillin, Staff Writer

Your top performers are the most likely to truly care about the direction of your organization, right? It looks like that assumption may be wrong.

A new a survey of more than 200 companies conducted by Washington, D.C.-based Leadership IQ reveals a troubling finding: in 42 percent of companies, the lowest performing workers feel the most engaged with their organizations.

“The employees bringing you the least value are often more engaged than the folks who reliably deliver good and great performance,” Mark Murphy, CEO, Leadership IQ, writes.  “There are ample reasons why this puts organizations at risk, and one of them is the fact that high performers, who thrive on being highly engaged, don’t tend to stick around very long if they aren’t engaged.”

How to Fix Retention Risks

“If your high performers can’t say “this is a great place to work,” they’re probably out there, right now, looking to find a place to work that is,” Murphy writes.

Instead of giving those employees excuses to comb LinkedIn for potential job opportunities, it’s important for managers to have frequent face-to-face personal discussions with them to ensure that they feel motivated and invested in the organization’s success.

“To help high and middle performers reach their full potential, the best leaders make sure employees, and especially high performers, understand the company vision,” Murphy writer. “They tell people what’s ahead - - including the challenges, so employees maintain the power to develop their own role within the organization.”

SEE ALSO: Five Signs Your Star Employee is About to Leave

How to Eliminate Feedback Failure

While the findings should give managers cause for concern about their top performers, the survey also reveals that many organizations may be failing to deliver honest evaluations for those performers that need to increase productivity. After all, if the lowest performers already feel engaged, it’s safe to assume they may not recognize that they are actually weighing your organization down.

“It’s an unhealthy and all too common dynamic when low performers don’t know they are low performers,” Murphy writes.

Rather than going through the standard motions with an employee evaluation process, it’s important to directly tackle issues with low performers. While the conversations may feel uncomfortable, driving success in the workplace relies on managers who don’t just simply set the bar higher. Those managers define where that bar is and how low performers can reach it.

SEE ALSO: Are Performance Reviews a Waste of Time?

Are you engaged in the workplace? Take this 15-minute survey from Leadership IQ to discover your real level of engagement

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