"When employees witness corporate downsizing and start to fear for their own jobs they often lose their motivation, which in turn affects their job performance, thereby causing them to become less productive and less of an asset to the company," said Greg Harris, president of Quantum Workplace, a market research company that surveys employee engagement, loyalty and retention.
So, what's the easiest way to find out if employees in your organization are engaged in their work? Ask them.
Start a conversation with employees to find out how they are handling the recession and how it may be affecting their work. To get a better sense of how engaged employees are across the entire company, you can take it one step further and ask them to complete a survey.
We recently came across a great format to follow when testing employee engagement levels in the 10-question Economic Sensitivity Survey developed by Quantum Workplace, a market research company that surveys employee engagement, loyalty and retention.
The survey measures employee engagement by an employee's "ability and willingness of individuals to exert effort for the benefit of the company, their tendency to speak highly of the organization and their intent to stay."
Quantum suggests you can determine how engaged your employees are by asking them to rate these 10 statements:
- Management is providing good leadership and guidance during difficult economic conditions.
- My job is mentally stimulating.
- I understand how my work contributes to the company's performance.
- There are future opportunities for growth at my company.
- My company affords me the opportunity to develop my skills.
- I receive recognition and reward for my contributions.
- There is open and honest communication between employees and managers.
- I see professional growth and career development opportunities for myself in this organization.
- I know how I fit into the organization's future plans.
- Considering the value I bring to the organization, I feel I am paid fairly.
Employee engagement should be at the top of your list of key business objectives, especially if your organization has experienced layoffs since the economic downturn began. An engaged workforce is a productive workforce, something every business needs during tough times.
"Now, more than ever, employers should be helping employees know how they're part of the future of the company. You need to quell any negative or fatalistic attitudes that might be present and educate the staff that this isn't something that's going to last forever, and that we need to be prepared for better times once the economy turns around," emphasizes Harris.
If you're looking for ways to let your staff know you appreciate their hard work, you can find a variety of new employee recognition ideas from G.Neil. Even playful gifts like a silly-looking stress ball can show an employee that you notice and are grateful for the extra effort they've been putting in recently.