I have to say I LOVE my job (and, no, my publisher did not pay me to write that). I thoroughly enjoy writing and editing, moderating Webinars, and overseeing the Training Top 125 application process, and I adore the training industry. Now that’s not to say there aren’t aspects of my job I don’t love a little less than others (can anyone say e-newsletters?), but on balance, there’s nothing I’d rather be than editor-in-chief of Training magazine—and that means I’m fully engaged in my job.
I’m one of the lucky ones. More than 70 percent of U.S. employees are either actively disengaged or neither engaged nor disengaged, according to a recent Avatar HR Solutions survey. And a Right Management survey of 411 employees in the U.S. and Canada found that two-thirds are either unsatisfied or somewhat unsatisfied with their current job. Such lack of engagement quickly leads to lackluster results, productivity losses, and low organizational morale.
So the $64,000 question is: What can organizations do to foster employee engagement? And what role does—or should—the Training department play?
To answer that question, we looked at the 2012 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list to find leaders in employee engagement and cross-checked it with our 2012 Training Top 125 and Training Top 10 Hall of Fame lists, which boast leaders in training. It turns out 19 companies appear on both the Fortune and Training lists, so we set about finding out what makes their employees so enthusiastic, how they use training to stoke that fire, and how they measure their success. Check out “I Want to Work THERE!” for 12 of their stories, plus tips you can apply in your own organization. (And don’t forget to apply for the 2013 Training Top 125 awards—download the application today at: http://trainingmag.com/content/download-2013-training-top-125-application )
Several of the organizations pointed to career development as a significant key to engagement. We delve further into that topic in “Career Builders.” Interestingly enough, executives often don’t realize how important this and other “internal” motivating factors are to employees. Check out “Motivation Misunderstanding” for more on this.
Likewise, many companies miss the boat when it comes to employee recognition. The Spring 2012 Workforce Mood Tracker report from Globoforce shows that 55 percent of respondents would leave their jobs for a company that clearly recognized employees for their efforts. See “Incentive Is in the Cards” for tips on using gift cards to both recognize and motivate employees.
Speaking of recognition, don’t miss our “Legends in Learning” feature, in which we honor 10 of the training industry’s most successful professionals and find out what has kept them motivated throughout their decades-long careers. I hope my motivation remains just as strong for the next 20 years of my career—and yours!