Engaged employees endure and contribute to both innovation and superior service

Earlier this week the Gallup Business Journal, a publication of the performance-management consulting company wrote about how "Engaged Workplaces Are Engines of Job Creation". The article sums up the State of the Global Workplace report from Gallup and notes that worldwide, "engaged employees are almost twice as likely as those who are
actively disengaged to report that their companies are hiring new
people or expanding the size of their workforces."

A particularly dismal ratio emerging from the report is that a  mere 13% of employees are engaged at work. While some 30% of US workers reported being engaged China came in at a paltry 6%.  As an aside it  may be a contributing factor to the complete absence of Chinese companies in Thomson Reuters Top 100 innovators around the world for 3 years in a row although Taiwan makes the cut this year.

Corroborating Gallup's findings is the Kelly Global Workforce Index from earlier this year put out by Kellyservices of Canada. The report surveyed over 122,000 employees across the globe and notes that the global economic crisis has led to more frequent switching of jobs by employees. Implicit in that is a lack of engagement as although 52% reported being "happy in their current jobs" 55% are actively looking for "better" jobs.

Among the factors affecting engagement is culture which plays a not insignificant role in enabling engagement and innovation.  In the Middle East employees are routinely rewarded based on "relationships" rather than on "merit", which is more commonplace in North America. Work rules in absolutist states make employee engagement a challenge. For instance, female employees in Qatar Airways are required to obtain "permission" before geting married and may be fired if they become pregnant.  That the airline, nevertheless, ranks consistently high in service quality is probably largely due to the severe oversight under which the overwhelmingly expatriate employees work.

That a happy confluence of excellent service and employee contentment stems directly from employee engagement is evident in the list of top 10 travel companies to work for. Orbitz tops the list with hotel giants Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons fitting into the top 5 of that list. The ingredients for employee engagement at these top service providers includes"“Good compensation, fun atmosphere, flexible schedules, great travel and medical benefits, bosses who
listen to their needs and salary increases throughout their careers" among others.

Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.