For the past 10 years I've been writing about this thing called employee engagement. No matter how much data is shared that confirms again and again tat those companies with the most engaged employees - not happy or well-fed or entertained - but engaged employees, passionate and focused and driving together in adult conversations, sometimes not PC, towards a common goal are the same companies whose performance is far higher than its competitors. This performance isn't measured or labeled with happy-talk buzzwords or PR spin but bottomline financial metrics.
No, I'm not going to share for the umpteenth time those metrics and link to their sources. There's two reasons why I'm not going to do that.
- It don't matter. Seriously. I'm not playing the victim card, here. Nor am I expecting that anyone should listen to me. There are thousands of commentators and hundreds of studies conducted over decades with thousands of companies in hundreds of industries that show this. But ... it don't matter. Employee engagement hasn't changed over that time period. Zip, nada, not a wrinkle, nary a blip, a percentage point. Nothing.
- Companies aren't investing in their employees. They're hoarding cash or worse.
The biggest US non-financial companies that pay Moody’s to rate their credit worthiness “will increase their cash holdings to $1.77 trillion by the end of the year, from $1.68 trillion at the end of 2015,” Moody’s writes.-www.nakedcapitalism.com
Nothing happens in business without investment or time, talent and capital. Show me where a company invests those and I'll show you its priorities. With $1.77 trillion in cash holdings, US companies don't give a rip about employee engagement. However, they do care about dividends, stock buybacks or executive bonuses.
No amount of foosball tables or massage chairs or organic food at employee cafeterias or Friday afternoon surfing breaks or pretty colors in the bathrooms or checking for smiles or memberships in health clubs can overcome $1.77 trillion in cash these same companies are holding back, waiting for the right time to invest in everything and anything (dividends, stock buybacks or executive bonuses) but innovation and employees' training, resources and pay.
Over a decade of hype and spin and programs and new buzzwords and pretty colors and balloons and consultants and books ... and then nothing happened.