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Service Builder :: An Engaging Consideration

The Aon Hewitt's 2014 "Trends in Global Employee Engagement" study reports that Millennials are the least engaged generation in the workforce, at 56 percent. Boomers are the highest, at 66 percent, and Generation X at 60 percent. Millennials tend to expect more from their employers, the job itself as well as their supervisors, than previous generations did. The study reports that Millennials need to hear from their supervisors on how they are doing—no news is not good news to this group. Millennials tend to read more into lack of communication, and interpret it to indicate they are performing poorly. That perception can (and, based on this study, appears to) lead to job dissatisfaction and a lack of engagement.

When a lack of engagement is present in any part of your workforce, it can be contagious, dragging others down into the same attitude, potentially affecting the morale of even the more positive and engaged employees. So, how do you identify a lack of engagement, short of an employee satisfaction survey? Certainly, good communication from supervisors is critical, but beyond work-related communication, we can encourage engagement by forming and maintaining positive relationships.

As we build relationships with employees—individually and in groups—we have the opportunity to impress on them the "why's" behind work expectations, to acknowledge their contributions to the organization, and to show appreciation for them as people. Stephen Covey, renowned author of books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, would remind us that relationships can't be built when we most need them. Rather, we nurture them continuously because people are important; because their impact on our lives is yet to be fully realized and because we have the opportunity to enhance that impact through our investment in them.

Take the time to get to know your employees, one minute at a time. Each minute leads to a stronger relationship and begins to mitigate the likelihood that any employee or work group will disengage. Disengaged employees are unfulfilled; positive relationships can close that gap and create a win-win. All within your "Circle of Influence." Very little effort—huge outcome.

Our challenge to you: Create Your Own Statistics!