The dog days of summer are here and with them come ice cream socials, trips to the beach, softball games, and backyard barbeques. As the weather heats up, many organizations are seeing their employee engagement drop. According to Captivate Network, the “lazy days of summer” often have a significantly negative impact on the workforce. Organizations report a 20 percent drop in productivity and a 15 percent increase in project turnaround times. In addition, there is an uptick in distracted workers by 45 percent and a drop in attendance by nearly 19 percent.
The work-at-home movement is taking off within the business world. Already, it is estimated that 30 million professionals in the U.S. are working from home at least once a week. According to a study by the Telework Research Network, that number is expected to increase by 63 percent in the next five years. While The Jacobson Group has had a few employees working from home for over a decade, we just officially launched a companywide telecommuting program.
Jacobson has come face to face with some immediate growing pains after expanding far beyond what we originally anticipated when we signed the lease for our new Chicago headquarters a few years ago. While this is a good problem to have, the reality is that we are running out of desks for all of our exceptional employees and are implementing a work-at-home policy for qualified staff.
Happy, engaged employees are the key to a successful workforce. The employees who love their jobs and their companies are the most productive, effective and loyal. The positive energy these professionals bring to the workplace not only helps to create a cheerful work environment, but also directly affect your organization’s bottom line, service-quality and employee retention.
What happens when the relationship between your organization and its employees fizzles? What can you do to bring back the spark?
This blog entry is part three in Jacobson’s Generational Spotlight Series, which provides a general overview of the generations active in the workforce. While we understand that these overviews may include broad stereotypes that do not apply to all members of that particular breakdown, we believe there is value in looking at today’s professionals from a generational perspective in order to gain a better understanding of their viewpoints.
Conversationally known as “Boomers,” Baby Boomers are the largest generational cohort currently employed. With 66 million professionals, the Boomers comprise 44 percent of the U.S. workforce. While these experienced individuals hold most of the power and control within the workplace, retirements are on the horizon and many early boomers are already on the cusp of exiting the business world.
Ten volunteers, a few glue sticks, construction paper and a surprise visit from the one-and-only Cookie Monster are all it took to foster employee engagement and help promote the unique company culture at The Jacobson Group. On October 16th, a group of Jacobson employees visited Chicago’s Harold Washington Library as part of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) Week of Giving event. Participating in the newly launched Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day initiative, our volunteers joined together with local children and families to participate in interactive Sesame Street games, videos and activities designed to encourage children and the adults in their lives to read and write together.