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Employee Engagement in Trying Economic Times

In general, NBRI has not seen a decline in employee engagement across our client studies during the recent economic turmoil. Steady and/or increased engagement scores are what we would expect to see during a period when employee priorities are changing from ‘increased compensation’ to ‘stable compensation and job security.’ Most employees recognize that their job stability is directly tied to the success of the company. As such, we expect motivation and productivity to increase.

However, employee attitudes and perceptions are specific to the companies in which these employees work and are heavily influenced by the way in which management acts during these trying economic times. For example, employee engagement survey data indicates that a company that has effective communication in the workplace will experience higher levels of engagement than a company that attempts to hide the truth or allows the rumor mill to run rampant. In an effort to maintain and improve employee engagement, managers should recognize employees for their individual contributions, continue to focus on career development, and provide employees an opportunity to utilize their skills and shine.

Management’s evident commitment to employees will further increase employee commitment to the company. Engaged employees will work harder to ensure the success of the organization. As they focus on “going above and beyond,” the company will begin to experience an increase in customer satisfaction which directly drives customer intent to return and ultimately increases the financial performance of the organization.

Dr. Jan West, Ph.D.

Organizational Psychologist

National Business Research Institute, Inc.

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