ORG Blog

New Study Reveals Why Chasing Employee Engagement Isn't Yielding Higher Productivity



Operations leaders know that ensuring and improving productivity is one of their top priorities. However, many feel frustrated in their ability to influence this goal when employee engagement is the hot topic everyone is talking about. Has your organization hopped on the bandwagon with a hyper-engagement approach, only to find that it’s not working?

You’re not alone. Countless companies have invested in employee engagement as the surefire solution to reap productivity. Unfortunately, by putting all of their eggs in the engagement basket, they’re often coming up short.

If this hits close to home, take heart–there’s a better way that yields superior (and consistent) results.

Discover the secret to employee productivity. Download Our Guide





According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), corporations are spending $100 billion annually to increase employee engagement. However, Gallup’s latest study shows that only 15% of the workforce is actively engaged (highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work), so the result of this investment is underwhelming. And costly. HBR estimates a loss of $450 billion annually due to the fact that 85% of employees are still not engaging.


These numbers prove that the heavy focus on creating a more engaged culture isn’t working–it’s an HR-driven intervention that hasn’t produced the intended end result.

So, what can be done to engage a higher percentage of employees and actually increase productivity, too?


Engagement and productivity go hand-in-hand, but operations leaders shouldn’t feel powerless to influence productivity while waiting for engagement efforts to pay off. After all, productivity is an operations issue, right? Maybe it’s time your organization puts energy into both endeavors.

All leaders can help cultivate productivity and engagement by:

  • Fulfilling their role to the best of their ability
  • Providing opportunities for personal and professional development so that each employee can perform at the right level on behalf of the team
  • Making sure individuals have the skills and competencies they need to do their work well

With that in mind, here are three specific things you can do to impact both engagement and productivity.

1. Think Every-Level Leadership.

  • Encourage leadership throughout the organization, at every level. This isn’t limited by titles or positions–when a company values ideas, insights, and experience, people feel empowered to show more initiative in their areas of expertise and influence.

  • Equip and train managers and supervisors to be effective leaders – great leadership should be modeled by the executives, but it shouldn’t stop there.

  • Create an environment where leadership can flourish. Engage people with potential in new experiences. Give them exciting opportunities.
2. Identify strengths and create a collaborative action plan.

  • Evaluate your employees’ strengths. Work together to create a plan that allows them to understand and develop their strengths in day-to-day work, then connect the dots to help them see how their daily tasks contribute to meeting company-wide goals.

  • Show employees how their personal goals align with the mission of the organization and ensure that they see themselves as an integral part of the company’s success.

  • Communicate (in both word and action) that every employee at every level adds value, skill, and insight to the task or initiative at hand, as well as the big picture. Reinforce a mindset of working together.
3. Partner with an experienced organization to instigate company-wide change.

  • Reach for even seemingly unattainable goals with a repeatable process that provides an uptick in productivity and encourages a workforce that’s engaged to the level of true commitment.
  • Choose a reliable, third-party partner with a proven track record to guide your organization through the transformation. An experienced, external perspective can make all the difference in helping you put a collaborative solution in motion while allowing you to continue day-to-day operations.

  • Get the tools and training you need to succeed from a hands-on, trusted source. DIY efforts rarely yield the sustainable change most organizations need to see results.

  • When your team has clear personal and business goals to reach, and they're pouring into the right things, both higher engagement and productivity result—everybody wins! But don't strive for this aim alone. Instigating company-wide change is a job suited for a strong partnership.


Many people will read this article, but only those who take action will see the benefits. If you’re ready to increase productivity in a manner that makes operational sense, ORG can help.

We’re experienced. We know what works. We’ve seen consistent results. The efforts we’ve mentioned (along with several others in our arsenal) have proven to drive the change that will dramatically boost employee selection, engagement, and productivity—and ultimately your business’s bottom line.  

Don’t let the idea of hard work deter you from moving forward. Start today by evaluating where your employees currently stand and how you rate as a leader. No matter where your organization currently falls on the engagement spectrum, we’re here to listen and answer your questions. No problem is too big (nor too small).

Want to learn more? Take a look at our best practices for boosting productivity through employee commitment.

Discover the secret to employee productivity. Download Our Guide
Still hungry for info? Check out these transformational insights.

When the way you’re working isn’t working, ORG can help. By fostering collaboration, boosting engagement, aligning goals, and implementing sustainable change, we can increase performance by two to three times your current goal—or more. Ready to work together?

Topics: Employee Engagement Productivity