Why Helping to Engage a Disengaged Workforce, Should be a CEOs Top Priority!

Submitted by Barb Krantz Taylor, The Bailey Group


Don’t fool yourself. The number of employees who report that they are “disengaged” with their organizations is increasing and the negative impact on productivity, customer satisfaction, and profit (as well as MANY other organizational outcomes) is proven.

In spite of this documented fact, many CEOs I know have yet to actively work to increase engagement in their organization. Why? Maybe all these talented CEOs just don’t know what to do? If that’s the case, then at the end of this article, you can read about three strategies that will help. However, what I fear is that even after you read these tips for increasing engagement, you will just identify reasons they won’t work or you can’t do them.

Here are some of the justifications I have heard from other CEOs:

  1. I am busy doing more important CEO tasks and they take up all my time.
  2. That falls under Human Resources (or a manager’s job).
  3. I don’t have to do anything because we don’t have an engagement issue, everyone seems happy.
  4. I am aware that a few individuals are probably disengaged but they don’t impact our organization or our bottom line.
  5. I know some people who work for “Insert Name” might have some engagement issues but she’s/he’s a high performer and I can’t afford to lose him/her.  Sure, maybe his/her interpersonal skills aren’t strong but people need to understand and get over it.
  6. Every organization has employees who are disengaged, but what can you do?  You can’t please everyone!

The fact is if there are engagement issues in your organization, they will not “get better” without your direct and active intervention. My beliefs and assumptions are, if engagement is an issue in your organization, it has and will continue to impact your profitability and productivity.

Maybe the three strategies I suggest next aren’t the best choices for you and your organization.  I just ask that you identify the beliefs and assumptions you hold about engagement and if they sound anything like those above, re-examine them.  I’d be happy to have a respectful dialog about our mutual beliefs and assumptions and see where we end up.

In the meantime CEOs can do the following:

  1. Look at your own level of engagement. If you are burned out, burdened with responsibility, anxious about the future of the company, or just plain crabby with overwork, do something NOW.
  2. Take time to PERSONALLY sit and listen to your most engaged employees. You probably know who they are because they are your organizations’ hardest workers, with the greatest talent, who you rely on, and are the most enjoyable to work with. They will love the attention and it will maintain or increase their already high level of engagement.
  3. Take quick and decisive action! Look at the most disengaged employees and HELP THOSE EMPLOYEES LEAVE! Yes, it’s an unpleasant and difficult conversation but, it’s a waste of time and money to keep them on.

Call The Bailey Group 763-545-5997, together we can get your employees engaged and your profits and productivity back on track.