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Bridging The Engagement Gap

July 20, 2017, Alex Vaccaro - Employee engagement can look very different depending on whether or not you call the HR department home. We look at the stats, and ask the question: do HR pros live in a bubble?
Bridging The Engagement Gap

A little under a year ago, we put together a super interesting infographic called “The Engagement Gap” using statistics and factoids we grabbed from our 2016 State Of Employee Engagement Report (which has since been updated for 2017). Infographics are great at providing lots of easy-to-digest information in a fast format, but sometimes they lack some of the context. So we’re going to go over some of these stats, and talk about what they mean in the bigger picture of how organizations treat employee engagement.

Sound good? Good!

HR sometimes lives in a bubble

There seems to be a divide between how HR pros perceive their talent strategies’ effectiveness and how employees perceive them. Some of the differences are staggering.

75 percent of HR leaders believe their organizations are effective in their ability to find, keep and develop their employees. Only 57 percent of employees believe the same.

43 percent of HR leaders believe their organizations are very effective in providing easy access to training and development. Only 22 percent of employees believe the same.

The fact is, HR pros think (or know) that they’re doing a great job, but a sizeable chunk of employees disagree. Don’t take that as HR overinflating their successes. After all, they have better access to the relevant data than most employees do. But there is a serious problem of perception. If employees don’t feel like HR is doing a good job, it follows that they believe that HR is not doing a good job for them. Perceptions like that can make people feel disengaged, leading to unproductive employees who are more likely to leave. Not a good look.

If it’s an issue of perception, then it’s probably an issue of communication. Which brings us to our next main point…

Employee voices aren’t being heard

If HR wants to improve their perception among employees, they need to make those employees feel like they’re being heard. As it stands:

58 percent of employees are rarely asked for their feedback (less than a few times a year)

55 percent of employees believe there are effective platforms for younger employees to share input to improve the company’s business performance

Worse yet, the report’s data shows that baby boomers and female employees are asked for their input less frequently than younger employees or males.

Fixing this starts with feedback. Not just feedback between employees and their superiors. Rather, we’re talking about collecting mass amounts of feedback from employees about how engaged they are and how they believe things can improve. You might call it organizational feedback.

And it can’t just be once a year! We’ve talked to droves of employee engagement experts and one thing keeps coming up: the annual engagement survey is on its way out. You need regular touchpoints throughout the year. Some organizations will do quarterly, but you can get as specific as daily with this.

Want to learn how technology can help open up lines between your employees and the HR pros managing your talent? Join us for one of our weekly product tours. If you’re interested in bridging the engagement gap, I’d suggest starting with the tour for Saba Pulse 360.



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