How to Engage Employees? Find Out What They're Thinking

employee engagement

One of the most illustrative things to come out of our recent study about what drives employee engagement is the power of the Dream Company.

Turns out, when it comes to getting people to be productive, dream jobs are all well and good, but Dream Companies are better; about 157 percent better.

The triple threat of these great employers is the seemingly simple fact that people believe the organization cares - about their well-being, their work/life balance, and their career growth.

What Drives Employee Engagement? 

With the best of intentions, a lot of employers may think they have these areas covered. But if they ask employees, they might be surprised to find the picture isn't as rosy as as they might think. Our Modern Family Index indicated this pretty clearly, showing a startling disconnect between what managers thought they knew...and what was actually happening in their workplaces.

A few significant samples:

  • 70% of managers told us their company has a culture that supports work/life balance
  • But 76% of working parents say their company doesn't have their best interests at heart
  • Barely 1/3 of managers equated lack of family time with dad burnout
  • But nearly half of fathers say lack of family time is causing them to run out of steam
  • 60% of managers believe company support can help avoid burnout
  • But 98% of working parents told us they've been burnt out

Asking the Right Questions to Avoid Employee Burnout

Worse, a full 62% of working parents said flatly their employers just don't care. And the real kicker here is that employers don't know. Why? Because their people aren't telling them. More than two thirds of working parents said they'd be reluctant to verbalize unhappiness about burnout, employer sensitivity, or lack of work/life balance.

So managers are going about their business thinking they've got a Dream Company, and their people are quietly burning out right under the noses.

Which leads us back to the title of this piece - find out what employees are thinking. Because our MFI tells us that asking people - via an employee experience survey that works - is the only way you can actually know how people doing, which is the only way to know what strategies will keep them productive and engaged, and the only way to know what you can do to keep them from burning out.

It's true that in the short run, asking might leave you with some unpleasant surprises. But at the end of the day, having the real, factual answers is the only way to separate the Dreams and the positive results from the engagement and productivity nightmares.
three happy employees working together

How to Become a Dream Company

Find out why becoming a Dream Company is important and how to become one.

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.