A company was restructuring, and the execs held a town hall meeting to lay out strategic decisions and discuss shifting business lines.
“Any questions?” a bigwig asked the employees.
The first: “Why is the cafeteria now charging for butter?”
The question demonstrates why employee engagement is essential, says Linda Dulye, president of Dulye & Co., a workplace communication consultancy that has released a new survey highlighting trends in employee engagement.
“What did those charges [for butter] do?” Dulye says. “They really, really ticked people off at a time when budgets were getting squeezed—doing more with less. [Employees thought,] ‘Now I gotta go to the cafeteria and I gotta pay for butter?'”
Stories like that could explain why communicators say employee engagement is their top challenge for 2013, Dulye’s new survey reports. But the survey exposed a gap between how communication professionals view the needs in their organizations and their leaders’ priorities.