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News » New study, expert recommend steps to boost employee engagement

New study, expert recommend steps to boost employee engagement

NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES — Company leaders are increasingly out of touch when it comes to workplace mental health priorities, leading to a widening disconnect with employees.

“There’s clearly a disconnect here,” said WellTheory CEO Ellen Rudolph in a Forbes article. “Despite best intentions, many employers miss the mark on health and wellness – costing them top talent.”

This perception gap is exacerbated by shadow trends like “quiet quitting” as workers feel undervalued and disconnected from leadership. A recent Betterworks study of over 2,000 employees found that 40% don’t receive adequate manager conversations or feedback, crushing growth and alignment.

Strengthening the human connection

The research highlighted solutions to reduce resenteeism and re-engage workers:

  • One-on-One Connections: Employees who have consistent one-on-ones are three times more likely to feel supported in their development.
  • Manager Feedback: Betterworks CPO Arnaud Grunwald says frequent coaching from managers is a “game-changer” for retention and productivity.
  • Middle Manager Support: Middle managers need more clarity and backing from leadership.
  • Skills-Based Performance: 70% of employees are highly productive when performance management successfully builds skills.
  • Aligned Goals: Workers are 35% more efficient when goals sync with the company’s vision through open communication.

“Oftentimes, those experiencing resenteeism will be less responsive and engaged day-to-day,” said Jamie Aitken, vice president of HR transformation at Betterworks.

“They may also show up and do the bare minimum, lacking the motivation to take initiative and maximize their impact on the team and business.”

Strategies of Segal to re-engage employees

Meanwhile, Allison Vaillancourt, VP at Segal, a benefits, compensation, and investment consulting firm, outlines six steps employers can take:

  • Gather insights through surveys, focus groups, and conversations.
  • Share high-level findings transparently to build trust.
  • Clearly communicate the rationale and benefits behind initiatives.
  • Provide training and continuous feedback mechanisms.
  • Involve employees at every step, making them feel valued.
  • Provide regular progress updates, acknowledging successes and failures.

She stresses the importance of meaningful feedback, appreciation, work-life balance, and clearly defined expectations — especially for remote teams that require extra effort to keep engaged.

“Managers need guidance on how to effectively engage both remote and hybrid team members. Clearly defining expectations and the path to promotion can also increase engagement, but only if leaders share regular, honest and constructive feedback and coaching,” Vaillancourt concluded.

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