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We know that the level of engagement of your staff makes a significant difference to your company’s bottom line.

Engaged staff take genuine pride in their work, they consistently deliver work of excellent quality. They complete tasks and projects quickly and without drama.

Yet despite almost 30 years of Gallup Engagement surveys and a stated focus on ‘increasing engagement’ the statistics still show that 84% of your staff are not fully engaged. We haven’t actually moved the needle since the 1990s!

Asking people to complete the survey, with the intention that we will subsequently take specific actions and see an improvement in the number of people fully engaged has proved to be elusive.

In reality, many companies complete the survey, receive the results and make engagement the subject of their Senior Leadership meetings. They talk about how important it will be to increase the engagement level in the coming year. Everyone commits to focusing on this, yet the discussion rarely identifies specific and measurable actions for staff members to take, it tends to remain at ‘high level’ thinking. Then the following year they repeat the survey and hope that their engagement score will be (magically?!) better.

Furthermore, if the score goes up they pat themselves on the back, even though they don’t actually know what caused the improvement and therefore what to repeat in the year ahead.

If the score goes down they tend to look for ‘external reasons out of our control’ to explain away the failure – ‘it’s the state of the economy’, ‘technology is changing the landscape’, ‘clients are more and more demanding’ etc.

Perplexed by this lack of progress to increase engagement levels Marcus Buckingham and his research team at ADP Research Institute, determined to discover what did and what didn’t impact engagement levels. They conducted a global study on engagement, involving 19,000 participants from 19 countries.

The results were surprising and compelling.

They found that the most powerful factor for increased engagement was simply whether or not respondents reported doing most of their work in a team. Those who did were more than twice as likely to be fully engaged as those who said they did most of their work alone.



The quality of this team experience – how well you complement each others’ skills and strengths, how well you look out for each other, how well you collaborate on ideas or problems – is the quality of your work experience.

Your experience of your team drives many things including how productive you are at work, how happy you are at work, how creative, innovative, and resilient you are, and how long you choose to stay with your company. In other words, when it comes to your work, great teams and teamwork aren’t a nice-to-have, they’re a must-have.

Does your company complete an engagement survey? What difference has it actually made to the level of engagement? Are you perhaps focusing on the wrong things to try to increase the level of engagement? How can you build a stronger team and therefore start to move the needle on engagement and performance?


If you need help motivating and engaging your people to do their best work, give World Class teams a call on 1300 085 248 or email