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Confusing News on the Economy and Engagement

It can be on the same day; it can be reported within the same publication (but of course from different sources). The news on the economy is confusing at best and certainly conflicting. The same can be said of the news and resulting implications of employee engagement. Before I go further into a recent study I received/reviewed, let me thank Don MacPherson at Modern Survey for allowing me to report on/use some of their recently published information.

Employees have no more to give

As I have reported in the past, getting return calls from prospective job candidates changes with the times. In 2009, candidates were very reluctant to engage in a dialogue about leaving their positions. Regardless of their level of satisfaction, they were focused on staying where they were. The press often labeled it "nesting" - it was often the security they knew over the unknown (and being the 'new kid on the block') that kept them from exploring the outside.

But now it is 2010 . . . . . .

As we entered the new year (and are just hours away from the 4th quarter), candidates started returning our calls in higher percentages. They were not simply willing to jump into a new opportunity; they were, however, willing to hear about the position. Regardless of the specifics and variances, engagement studies showed a lowering of scores as the recession wore on. People were more open to the possibility of change.

Employees May Have No More to Give as Engagement Makes Modest Gains in the U.S. Workforce

This is the title of a news story released last week by Modern Survey (see for additional information on this organization). The data showed that overall employee engagement scores had increased slightly over the lows of February 2010. That's the good news. According to Bruce Campbell, Senior Consultant with Modern Survey, the bad news is that the data showed that "the majority of these under engaged employees intend to stay where they are for the time being, but are probably doing only the bare minimum to get by at work."

It has been another tough year for employers

If there is a message in the data, it is that employers will need to increase and/or continue their efforts to continually engage their employees and find ways to garner their discretionary effort. The holidays are coming - and shockingly very soon. This may be the year to return to celebrations - nothing elaborate, but celebrations none-the-less for the hard work and tough times all employees have experienced. Remember, however, that the holiday celebrations are the middle. Engaging employees to get the best they can give has to start now - and continue beyond this calendar year.