Weekend Poll Results: Is Employee Engagement an Ideal, or Reality?

With thanks to all who participated, here are your responses to my question … What does employee engagement look like in your organisation?

There’s a lot to be said for being part of a cohesive team 

… and a third of respondents were able to rate their respective teams’ cohesiveness at high levels. With 5/5 being the best possible rating on this Weekend Poll’s scale, 34% were able to rate the cohesiveness of their teams at 4 or 5 out of 5. While 47% of you expressed high degrees of trust in your teams, a whopping 29% rated their trust levels at 2 or lower.

There could be a connection between those respondents’ low trust rating, and the fact that 25% of respondents do not have a great sense of inclusion in their workplaces. I asked readers who gave ratings of 2 or lower out of 5 on this front to identify reasons for that sense of isolation. Within that group, 41% said (workplace) culture is the issue. Interestingly, 35% said it’s the simple fact that they work in relatively isolated roles. Some felt this way because they’re relatively new in their roles, and another 6% demonstrated self awareness in citing their own outlooks as the reason for their sense of isolation.

 

How is your employer at receiving and acting on employee feedback?

There are some very good indicators, and some not-so-good indicators arising from this question. A full 39% of respondents were able to give a rating of 4 or higher out of 5.  21% of you reported that you can give feedback knowing there will be a response, even if the parties disagree.

While only 3% of respondents reported that feedback isn’t acknowledged or acted upon, 29% gave a 2 out of 5 rating for their workplaces.

 

Show me the money … and the rest of the compensation package

14% of respondents gave the lowest possible rating, indicating that they have their eyes open for other opportunities. On the other hand, things are looking pretty good for the 47% of respondents who gave a rating of 4 or higher.

Professional development (PD) benefits admin. professionals and their organisations, so what do people think of their employers’ investments in assistants’ PD? Almost a fifth of respondents gave this the highest possible rating, with a 5 out of 5. A full 37% rated their employers’ investments in their PD at four or higher – but 20% gave their workplaces the lowest possible rating, saying that investments in their professional development are non-existent.

 

Do you recognise me?

When it comes to your workplace contributions, 14% of respondents were able to rate their situations at 5 out of 5. Almost half the respondents gave a rating of 4 or higher. It’s important to note, however, that 19% reported feeling undervalued.

What about formal recognition programs? Well, 37% of you were able to give your employer’s recognition program a rating of 4 or higher, with a “5” rating indicating you work in an environment with an inspiring recognition program. Kudos to those employers. However, 40% of respondents rated their employers’ recognition program at 2 or lower. In fact, 20% of respondents said there is no such program. Ouch!

 

How are employers doing overall? 

There’s also a lot to be said for supportive feedback, clarity of expectations, a respectful environment, effective leadership, autonomy and more. As mentioned in the article in which I introduced this poll, global employee engagement levels are on the decrease. While 36% of respondents rated their employers employee engagement efforts at 4 or higher, a full 45% gave ratings of 2 or lower. In fact, almost a fifth of you chose the “it’s lip service” response to describe your work environments!

 

What about your own level of engagement?

You may not be surprised to learn that more than two thirds of your fellow admin. professionals reported being highly engaged. Scroll down through the data, though, and you’ll see that 43% of all respondents reported that their high engagement levels are reflective of a personal sense of commitment more so than efforts on the part of their employer or executive. You’ll find all the data below.

THE DATA

Note: Information below reflects the percentage of respondents who selected specific responses from multiple choice options.

On a scale of 1 (very poor; my role is isolated) to 5 (couldn’t be better), how would you rate your sense of inclusion within your workplace? 

  • 5 out of 5 (couldn’t be better): 11% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5: 32% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5: 30% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5: 14% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (very poor; my role is isolated): 11% of respondents
  •  2% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented that it varies greatly, depending on what is going on.

 

ONLY if you rated your sense of inclusion at 1 or 2, which of the following best reflects the reason? 

  • 41% of respondents: It’s the culture
  • 35% of respondents:  I work in a role that’s relatively isolated
  • 12% of respondents:  I’m relatively new in the role
  • 6% of respondents: It’s my outlook
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”.  One reader commented that this reflected the set up of the organisation and its facilities.

 

On a scale of 1 (I don’t feel I’m part of a team) to 5 (couldn’t be better), how would you rate the cohesiveness of your team / department?  

  • 5 out of 5 (couldn’t be better): 17.5% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5: 17.5% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5: 40% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5:  12.5% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (I don’t feel I’m part of a team): 10% of respondents
  •   2.5% of respondents selected “Other”, and a reader commented that it depends greatly on what is going on.

 

On a scale of 1 (I have little trust in my colleagues) to 5 (I trust my team completely), how would you rate your sense of trust within your team / department? 

  • 5 out of 5 (I trust my team completely):  13% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5:  34% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  24% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5:  21% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (I have little trust in my colleagues): 8% of respondents

 

On a scale of 1 (feedback is not acknowledged or acted upon) to 5 (we can give feedback knowing that there will be a response, even if we disagree), how would you rate feedback? 

  • 5 out of 5 (we can give feedback knowing there will be a response, even if we disagree):  21% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5:  18% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  29% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5:  29% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (feedback is not acknowledged or acted upon): 3% of respondents

 

On a scale of 1 (I have my eyes open for other opportunities) to 5 (I’m very pleased), how satisfied are you with your compensation package?  

  • 5 out of 5 (I’m very pleased):  19% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5:  28% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  11% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5:  28% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (I have my eyes open for other opportunities): 14% of respondents

 

On a scale of 1 (there is none) to 5 (we have an inspiring program in place), how would you rate your organisation’s recognition program? 

  • 5 out of 5 (we have an inspiring program in place): 14% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5:  23% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  23% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5:  20% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (there is none): 20% of respondents

 

On a scale of 1 (I feel under-valued) to 5 (I know my contributions are appreciated), how would you rate your organisation’s recognition of your efforts?

  • 5 out of 5 (I know my contributions are appreciated):  14% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5:  31% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  22% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5:  14% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (I feel undervalued): 19% of respondents

 

On a scale of 1 (what communications?) to 5 (couldn’t be happier), rate senior management’s communications on contributing to organisational goals? 

  • 5 out of 5 (couldn’t be happier): 12% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5:  35% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  23% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5: 12% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (what communications?): 18% of respondents

 

On a scale of 1 (non-existent) to 5 (couldn’t be better), how would you rate your employer’s investments in your professional development and growth? 

  • 5 out of 5 (couldn’t be better ): 17% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5: 20% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  20% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5: 20% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (non-existent): 20% of respondents
  • 3% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented that such investments are provided only to those who ask. The reader added, “I ask.”

 

On a scale of 1 (I’m micro-managed) to 5 (very happy with my degree of autonomy), rate your sense of empowerment within scope of your role. 

  • 5 out of 5 (very happy with my degree of autonomy ): 38% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5: 32% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  18% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5: 6% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (I’m micro-managed): 6% of respondents

 

On a scale of 1 (ineffective) to 5 (highly effective), how effective is the executive or manager to whom you are a direct report? 

  • 5 out of 5 (highly effective): 23% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5: 40% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  11% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5: 11% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (ineffective): 9% of respondents
  • 6% of respondents selected “Other”. One person commented that micro-managers are never effective; another observed, “Current exec is interim, so is unwilling to do too much until new exec arrives”.

 

Do your colleagues get together ( for social, fundraising, athletic or other events) outside work hours?

  • Yes, occasionally: 55% of respondents
  • Yes, on a regular basis: 21% of respondents
  •  No: 17% of respondents
  •  Only once a year: 7% of respondents

 

Do you believe that colleagues in your office generally treat one another with respect? 

  • For the most part: 56% of respondents
  • Yes: 36% of respondents
  • No: 8% of respondents

 

On a scale of 1 (it’s lip service) to 5 (couldn’t be more impressed), rate your organisation’s overall efforts to secure employee engagement.

  • 5 out of 5 (couldn’t be more impressed): 6% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5:  30% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  18% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5: 27% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (it’s lip service ): 18% of respondents, which reflects inclusion of one person who selected “Other” but added the comment, “Lip service and talk is cheap”.

 

Do you receive supportive feedback from your executive/the person to whom you report? 

  • 36% of respondents: Yes, on a regular basis
  • 24% of respondents: Yes, although infrequently so
  •  21% of respondents: Once in a blue moon
  • 15% of respondents: No
  •  3% of respondents selected “Other”.  One person commented that “feedback” came in the form of the annual evaluation.

 

On a scale of 1 (they’re not clear) to 5 (they’re perfectly clear), rate the clarity of expectations of you by your executive/employer.  

  • 5 out of 5 (they’re perfectly clear): 21% of respondents 
  • 4 out of 5:  35% of respondents
  • 3 out of 5:  23% of respondents
  • 2 out of 5: 9% of respondents
  • 1 out of 5 (they’re not clear ): 12% of respondents

 

Which of the following best describes your engagement level?    

  • 43% of respondents: I’m highly engaged, but that is due more to my sense of commitment than to efforts on the part of my employer/executive
  • 23% of respondents: I’m highly engaged, and that’s due in great part to my employer/executive
  • 17% of respondents: I’m disengaging, and it’s a reflection of the office culture
  •  9% of respondents: I’m moderately engaged, and that’s a reflection of efforts to engage employees
  • 3% of respondents: I’m moderately engaged, even though my employer/executive makes good efforts at engagement
  • 2.5% of respondents: I’m disengaging, even though my employer/executive makes good efforts at engagement
  • 2.5% of respondents selected “Other”.  One person noted that, while her/his executive engages well, the employer does not.

 

 

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