The Hard Facts
  • Profitability is directly linked to how engaged employees feel.

    • It’s estimated that disengaged employees cost US companies as much as 350 billion annually in lost productivity.
    • A 2008 Gallup poll found that public companies ranking in the top quartile for employee engagement had an earnings-per-sharegrowth 2.6 times the rate of those with below average engagement.
    • Hewitt’s 2008 research confirmed that employee engagement at double-digit growth companies exceeds employee engagement at single-digit growth companies by over 20%.
    • In 2007, Towers Perrin determined that companies with high employee engagement experienced an average increase of 19% in operating income and almost a 28% growth in earnings per share. Conversely, companies with low levels of engagement saw operating income drop more than 32% and earnings per share decline over 11%.
  • Today’s employees are largely disengaged.

    • In 2008, the American Society for Training and Development found that just 34% of U.S. workers were engaged.
    • BlessingWhite determined in 2008 that just 29% of North American employees were fully engaged.
    • In 2007, Ott and Killham put the number of engaged employees at 26%.
    • After surveying 90,000 employees worldwide in 2007, Towers Perrin found that only 21% were fully engaged, while only 38% were partially or fully disengaged.
  • The highly functioning senior team is a rare phenomenon.

    • A study of 120 senior leadership teams by a group at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership found that fully 42% were considered to perform poorly, while 37% were mediocre, leaving a disappointing 21% to be good performers.
    • The executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles and the University of Southern California’s Center for Effective Organizations surveyed 60 top HR executives from Fortune 500 companies. Only a disturbing 6% reported that “the executives in our C-suite are a well-integrated team.”
  • Senior executives have little idea how they’re really doing.

    • A 2008 study by The Refinery Leadership Partners reported that 75% of executives believe they are performing better as leaders than their competitors; the balance believes their performance is at least equal to their competitors.
    • In 2007 Towers Perrin found that just 38% of employees believed that senior management communicates openly and honestly. While 44% of employees believe that senior management tries to be visible and accessible, only 40% believe that they effectively communicate the reasons for key business decisions.
    • Research by Harthill Consulting suggests that significant organizational changes only take place when some or all of a senior management group is at a certain development level. Yet, at best only 11% of executives have attained this stage.
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