Getting the whole business together lacks engagement

For businesses with a large and perhaps geographically diverse workforce, getting everyone togerher can be tricky – and may not help with engagement according to a recent report.

While all-employee events – or ‘townhall meetings’ – can provide a useful platform for sharing information, younger employees in particular may feel that it is less valuable for sharing feedback.

The study from social collaboration tool POPin  found that that 40% of Millennials find only “minimal value” in townhall meetings; 32% only “reluctantly participate,” and 16% “don’t participate at all.” Only 12% of employees reported being “engaged” in townhall meetings.

Overall, only 21% of respondents said townhall meetings are “in tune with issues of importance to employees.” 56% said employee concerns are only “sometimes” heard at townhall meetings. 23% said townhall meetings are “typically one sided with information directed from management to employees.”

In spite of this disconnect, a full 92% of respondents believe employee satisfaction is “a function of engagement” noting that “engaged employees are more likely to stay committed and more productive over the long haul.”

According to the survey, 22% of respondents say town hall meetings are “typically one sided” with information flowing from management to employees. 65% of respondents say their employees engage and participate in these meetings. However, 35% of respondents fail to conduct town hall employee meetings at all.

86% of employees hide behind electronic communication as the “primary” method of employee feedback. 61% of employers feel that, although they do listen to employee concerns, they cannot meet all of their challenges with an alarming 82% of employers admitting that they have no way of gauging employee satisfaction.

“With millennials taking up 35% of the workforce, businesses have had to pivot when it comes to employee engagement and retention,” said Brian Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer of POPin. “As they [millennials] engage primarily through electronic communication, most companies could benefit from embracing new way of employee engagement to ensure that all employees are aligned with key company initiatives and feel that their voice is heard. This will also help CEOs and executives solicit and use this honest and anonymous feedback from younger employees to bring change into effect and boost employee retention.”

Survey Results:

  • Millennial Engagement: Millennials (ages 21 – 35) contribute to 35% of the American workforce but employers find that 48% of millennials engage below average in town hall meetings. 32% of millennials participate reluctantly while 40% find minimal value in town hall meetings
  • Failure to Gauge Employee Satisfaction: 55% of employers feel they have a good sense of employee job satisfaction. However, note that 82% of employers state have no way of gauging employee satisfaction
  • Inability to Solicit Candid Feedback: 58% of respondents “withhold critical information about the organization,” and 13% say they are “not at all candid,” when it comes to providing feedback. Only 30% say that “all opinions are encouraged and rewarded.”
  • Stuck in Their Ways: 61% of employers feel that, although they do listen to employee concerns, they cannot meet all of their challenges.
  • Failure to Take Action: When it comes to putting feedback into action to drive positive change, only 20% of businesses have a process to do so quickly. 54% admitted they “could be more nimble in this area” and 26% are “slow” and blame “limited resources.”
  • Missing the Mark on New Initiatives: 65% of employers are not aligned on new strategic changes and technology initiatives.
  • Hiding Behind email: 49% of employees use email to communicate feedback; 32% rely on townhall meetings; 37% use surveys; and only 10% use crowdsourcing sessions.

45% say they do not receive candid feedback from employees on important issues. 37% say they listen to employee but do not have a formal process in place to measure success. 18% have “no formal process whatsoever” for gauging employee satisfaction.

“Our research continues to show that that crowdsourcing techniques such as surveys are a critical tool in helping management engage with employees to ensure the success of corporate initiatives,” added Mr. Anderson.