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Recognition in The Real World
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Gallup poll shows employee engagement important in changing workplace

Posted By Jess Myers, RPI, Friday, February 17, 2017
To say that the American workplace is changing means little to most. Just in the past quarter-century, we have seen the workplace change dramatically, with the Internet moving in, and the truly global economy advancing.

But the recently-released Gallup poll on the “State of the American Workplace” shows just how quickly and dramatically those changes are happening, as a new generation of employees makes its mark. And the results of the 200-plus page report underscores the importance, in many cases, of employee engagement and recognition.

Among the findings in the report, available at the Gallup website, is: “an evolving employee attitude about what a job should and should not be. Most workers, many of whom are millennials, approach a role and a company with a highly defined set of expectations. They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day. They want to learn and develop. They want their job to fit their life.”

Also revealed, partially as a result of the strong economy and the low unemployment rate, is an American workforce that has high expectations. As noted the report’s executive summary:

“The modern workforce knows what’s important to them and isn’t going to settle. Employees are willing to look and keep looking for a company that’s mission and culture reflect and reinforce their values. They have seemingly unlimited resources to help them conduct their job searches — far beyond classified ads and their immediate professional networks. And as the job market has been opening up, employees have been feeling increasingly optimistic about what they’re finding.”

These findings, and many others in the report, reflect the importance of employee engagement and recognition as keys to success in this changing world of work. Ensuring those employees, who have many options out there when it comes to where and how they work, feel valued and recognized is an increasingly important tactic to company and organization growth.

These findings come at a time when the race to find the best employees, and to reward and retain those employees, is increasing quickly. While plenty of the traditional “8-to-5, Monday-through-Friday” jobs are still out there, the new generation of workers is changing that dynamic quickly as well.

From the report: “employees are hyperconnected and can access information on any company just as quickly. Through the web and social media, they can see what an organization offers and what past and current employees are saying about it. They can read articles and headlines, see Facebook and LinkedIn posts and develop a clear idea about what makes an employer not just ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but ‘exceptional.’ And, if employees can’t find an exceptional job that complements other aspects of their life or, at a minimum, pays enough to make the 8-to-5 grind worthwhile, they can create their own job category. They might work 20 hours a week at a contracted office gig, 20 as a ride-hailing service driver and 10 as a freelancer.”

With Employee Appreciation Day coming on March 3, there are many great ideas for ensuring your workforce is valued and knows it available, including a recent webinar featuring experts in the field. All of RPI’s CRP courses are now available online, and there is a new recognition fundamentals online course available as well.

For more information on the State of the American Workplace, visit the Gallup website for access to the full report.

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