Monday, September 20, 2010

Engagement in the Enterprise

It is a very busy time at Open Text as we get ready to launch the ECM Suite 2010. My involvement in this launch is working on the Engagement products. I have had several conversations over the last few weeks on what engagement and an engaged work force means and I was quite surprised to read the statistics that speak to the current level of engagement in the workforce.
According to the Gallup Management Journal’s Employee Engagement Index survey, in a typical workplace:
• 29% of employees are actively motivated and engaged in their jobs
• 71% are unmotivated and dis-engaged
• 54% are not engaged at all
• 17% are actively dis-engaged

In fact, The Towers-Perrin Global Workforce Study ( found that engagement has reached what many would call a crisis level encompassing over 70 percent of the workforce and over 50 percent of management.

Many of the factors that are contributing to the dis-engaged work force include economic downturn, downsizing, information overload and a global work force. A dis-engaged workforce does not just mean unhappy employees; it can have much larger ramifications.

According to a recent study by the Gallup group; “actively dis-engaged employees — the least productive — cost the American economy up to $350 billion per year in lost productivity.”

Helping employees to efficiently manage information overload is one vital step to building a more engaged workforce. Providing knowledge workers with a platform that allows for knowledge sharing and collaboration is not a new idea; corporate intranets have offered this premise for years. But the paradigm shift we are seeing on the web, in how we communicate and interact with each other in the consumer world, is quickly making its way into the enterprise. We need to consider this shift as we revisit our corporate intranet platforms and ask ourselves, how effective is this platform and how can I make it better? What lessons can I take away from social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook?

A few key things to ask of your intranet: Does my intranet give my knowledge workers the ability to;
Make their voices heard,
Share their expertise with others,
Gain recognition and build reputation,
Connect with each other in real time.

If you answered no to any of the above, maybe it is time to look at refreshing your intranet platform to help better unify your workforce. I would recommend that you learn more about how you can apply social media such as blogs, wikis, comments, ratings and microblogging to your current intranet to help encourage a more collaborative, productive and engaged workforce.

If you have any examples of success stories in building out a more engaging social intranet I would love to hear them!