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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

What’s Resiliency got to do with Employee Engagement?

Consider these glum facts: Only one in eight workers worldwide are engaged at work, but according to Gallup's new 142-country study on the State of the Global Workplace , engagement varies considerably according to the region and country in which these workers live and their economic and social conditions. So let’s just look at the U.S and Canada. Gallup reports that only 29% of workers are engaged, leaving 54% not engaged and 18% actively disengaged. To be engaged is to be plugged in, positive, purposeful, and high performing. These are all characteristics of a resilient, sustainable organizational culture. Consider the first characteristic: plugged in. Engaged people feel connected to the work they do and whom they do it for. They become connected to each other through authentic communication, face-to-face or at least ear-to-ear conversation, and an opportunity to know each other beyond a resume.  People feel heard, understood, and valued. Easy to say and harder to do in our global 24/7 world. But it is possible. First: By design and not by default, mark out time to TALK (not email or text) the people on your team. Be aware that many might be suspicious because so few people do this. Second: Ask how you can best support each other? Third: If possible, create a time and space for physical interaction.  One of the best leaders I know commits time and considerable money to bring his senior team together for breaking bread, laughing, and joining in targeted discussions that I facilitate. Highly engaged? You bet! Fourth: Look at work/life integration issues. No one leaves their “other life” at home when they drive in the parking lot. And one size of a “policy” does not fit all. People might be grappling with different family issues and to the degree, you can evidence concern, understanding, and reasonable accommodation goes a long way in creating that human connection and their resiliency. Fifth: Laugh. Laughter is the shortest distance between people. Resilient, sustainable organizations know that when people smile on the job, laugh, have fun—they are more productive and more creative. Push the pickle-pusses in the closet. And if you are one… think again. Lastly, these are soft skills and therefore hard to do. It’s why I wrote my small but idea-heavy book, Talk Ain’t Cheap. It’s Priceless—Connecting in a disconnected world. So, start talking and get to work!

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