From the “no kidding” department

Watson Wyatt surprised nobody this week when they released results of a new study that showed massive drops in employee engagement and morale of late.  Well, that’s not entirely true … some of what they said surprised me.  Here’s a quote:

Employee engagement levels for all workers at the companies surveyed have dropped 9 percent since last year, and close to 25 percent for top performers.

If one assumes that in general top performers are more engaged than their peers, this stat suggests maybe the engagement levels, well, leveled. There’s one more ugly stat in there:

Forty-one percent of employees indicate that changes have had an adverse impact on quality and customer service, while only 17 percent of employers believe this is the case.

So let’s get this straight.  We’ve got massive disconnect between corporate perception and employee perception, and our most critical people are disengaged and uninspired.

What’s a manager to do?

Well, you could do worse than to model your response after what successful companies do during times like these: invest in the things that matter most, take market share, and be ready to emerge from the rough times stronger than your competitors.

Now more than ever it’s important to get the little things right.  You may have zero budget, zero time, and nothing but grim news.  But you’ve got to find ways to invest in your relationships with your co-workers.