Merge's Blog

Want engaged employees? They need to be healthy in four areas

ERWAEmployee engagement is big business in North America; a recent estimate in The Globe & Mail pegs it at a USD $720 million spend annually.  After all, companies want their employees to be productive, and engaged employees are one reliable way of assessing workplace productivity.  I routinely blog about what leaders can do to create engaged employees (and limit disengaged ones).  In fact, one recent post titled High employee turnover? It’s not usually about compensation offered two specific ideas to create highly engaged employees, both physically as well as mentally.

I bring up this topic again today because my colleagues at The Globe & Mail are sponsoring a very cool project – a Canada-wide survey that is investigating what companies are doing to foster a working environment that creates engaged AND healthy employees.  And by “healthy”, I don’t just mean in physical health, but also mental, work and life health.  Why this subject?  Because past research has shown that highly-engaged employees are not always healthy, which means that their productivity is only short-term.  Think about it – a highly-engaged staff member who works long, demanding hours but doesn’t know how to cope or take care of his health is someone whose productivity will only last until he burns out.  In fact, this past research has shown three categories of highly-engaged employees – those with high health, those with moderate health, and those with low health.  As a leader, you obviously want the first (and perhaps even second) group, but certainly not the third.

The results of this survey will conclude in a series of Employee Recommended Workplace Awards (based on company size and geographic area).  Now even if you aren’t interested in winning an award, here are three VERY good reasons your company should participate in this survey.  One, because after the survey is complete, your company will receive an annual employer report that shares aggregated insights into what companies are doing to facilitate employees’ total health, engagement and productivity,  Two, your company will receive a unique report that details in aggregate where your strengths and weaknesses lie, as compared to the others in your size and geography.  And three, when your individual employees complete the survey, they will each get instant results plus immediate coaching on what they can do to improve their total health.  Triple bonus!

If you’re a leader, then I know you’re interested in improving employee engagement.  But I also know that you don’t want it at the expense of sustainable productivity.  This, right here, is exactly why you should encourage your organization to participate in this survey.  Remember, the results are aggregated from honest confidential responses from your employees.  What a great way to get some truthful data about how your employees feel about your company!  Here’s a link to an article that tells you more about this project: http://tgam.ca/EPLG.  And here’s a link to the site where you can register your company for this survey: https://www.employeerecommended.com/. This project just kicked off, and will run till early November, but don’t put it off until later – November will be here before you know it – and if you work in a large company, you may have to reach out to other decision-makers to persuade them to participate in this initiative (which can sometimes take a while).  So get started now!

Let me know if I can help you make the case for participation within your company.  And please, also let me know if you’ve already decided to get involved, or just share your thoughts on this subject by adding your comment below.

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