Survey: Employee engagement is top challenge for 2013

It may be top of mind for communicators, but it’s not for senior execs, according to a new survey. Here’s how to get the top honchos on board.

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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.

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