Closing the Engagement Gap: How Great Companies Unlock Employee Potential For Superior Results

By Julie Gebauer and Don Lowman

Published on December 26, 2008 by Penguin Group

Expert advice and examples show how managers can inspire high levels of commitment.

When people are truly engaged in their work they give more "discretionary effort" and make a huge difference to their company. They ask, "What’s in it for us?" instead of "What’s in it for me?" Yet an engaged workforce is as rare as it is valuable. A groundbreaking global study, led by Julie Gebauer and Don Lowman of Towers Perrin, shows that most people are not engaged and don’t contribute as much value as they could. Not because they’re inherently lazy or apathetic, but because their companies and managers don’t know how to draw out the best from them. For instance, while pay and benefits are critical in attracting talent to a company, they have little effect on engagement. Instead, there are five proven ways to engage employees, including:
  • Grow them by helping them develop skills and knowledge
  • Involve them by asking for input and delegating authority
  • Reward them with recognition and advancement opportunities
Using real world examples, the authors show that consistently better engagement really is possible and can deliver a huge impact to the bottom line.