Skillman, NJ. December 20, 2010—Based on a global survey of nearly 11,000 employees and interviews with line managers and human resource executives, the study explores five levels of employee engagement in the workforce: engaged, almost engaged,  honeymooners & hamsters, crash & burners, and disengaged.

BlessingWhite CEO Christopher Rice warns that current engagement levels could derail ambitious corporate agendas for 2011: “High engagement drives the discretionary effort and innovation required for organizations to thrive in any economy. Our research shows, however,  that both executives and managers struggle with leadership behaviors that fuel engagement.”

Among the study’s key findings:

  • A robust economy does not guarantee engagement: China has the least engaged workforce.
  • Executives aren’t getting the basic building blocks right:  creating an environment that supports high performance correlates strongly with high engagement levels but is the item that received the least favorable response in the entire survey.
  • Trust in executives can have more than twice the impact on engagement levels than trust in immediate managers. Yet employees are more likely to trust their managers than their top-level leaders.
  • In western economies, employees’ knowledge of their managers as “people” behind their titles appears to impact engagement levels more than manager actions.
  • Employees worldwide view opportunities to apply their talents,  career development, and training as top drivers of job satisfaction.
  • Engagement surveys without visible follow-up action may actually decrease engagement levels, suggesting that organizations think twice before flipping the switch on measurement without 100% commitment for action planning based on the results.

Rice believes that employee engagement needs to be woven into the fabric of daily responsibilities, not addressed through annual surveys and action-planning exercises. “As soon as engagement becomes a goal in addition to daily priorities, it drops off the bottom of the to-do list for even the most well-intentioned leaders. You need the entire workforce to be accountable for increasing engagement levels year-round.”

Intended for line executives and HR leaders, “Employee Engagement Report 2011” focuses on the roles and responsibilities of executives,  managers, and individuals in driving engagement every day. The report can be accessed at http://www.blessingwhite.com/eee__report.asp.

The survey was conducted between July 2010 and October 2010, and results were compared with pre-recession data (gathered December 2007).  27% of the 10,914 survey respondents reside in North America. More than half of respondents hold executive, management, or supervisory titles.

BlessingWhite is a global consulting firm dedicated to creating sustainable high-performance organizations. Based in Princeton, NJ, with locations in London, Chicago, San Francisco and Melbourne, the firm has worked with nearly three million professionals in thousands of organizations since its founding in 1973.

Contact: Christopher Rice, President & CEO, BlessingWhite,  908-904-1000, ext. 8000, chrisr(at)bwinc(dot)com, or Mary Ann Masarech,  Employee Engagement Practice Leader, 203-368-6694,  maryannm(at)bwinc(dot)com.

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