A new Robert Half survey of 2,200 CFOs in major U.S. metropolitan areas found that sixty percent believe their staff is more engaged in their job compared to three years ago. However, a majority of those polled (52 percent) still believe it's not enough.

"Engaged employees are more productive employees," stated Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. "They typically are also more dedicated team members and less likely to jump ship. This is an especially important consideration for businesses in the current environment of low unemployment and a shortage of skilled workers."

"Employees are more likely to be engaged when they are given new challenges and regular performance feedback," he added. "They will also find more meaning and motivation in their work when they understand how their contributions fit with the overall goals of the business."

CFOs were asked, "Compared to three years ago, do you think employees are more or less engaged at work?" Their responses were as follows:

Significantly more engaged
Somewhat more engaged
Somewhat less engaged
Significantly less engaged
No change

CFOs were also asked, "How concerned are you about your employees' level of engagement at work?" Their responses were:

Significantly concerned
Somewhat concerned
Not too concerned
Not at all concerned

The CFO survey also revealed that the top five cities with the most engaged staff are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Phoenix and St. Louis (tied).

Robert Half

Robert Half offers the following tips to increase engagement in the workplace:

  1. Give individuals a glimpse of their future. Check in with team members about possible career paths at your company, including potential advancement opportunities and milestones needed to achieve them. Individuals want to know where they're headed and how you will help them get there.
  2. Promote creativity and innovation. The Robert Half and Happiness Works research found the ability to do interesting and meaningful work is a key factor in employee happiness. Encourage your staff to pursue new projects — and explore new pathways — at your company they are likely to find fulfilling.
  3. Keep lines of communication open. Employees are inclined to feel more connected to their jobs when they have productive work relationships with their managers. Remain accessible to your team and let them know they can come to you with questions and concerns.
  4. Take an interest in your employees' work — and their lives. Every worker is an individual. Make a point to learn about and support staff members' professional goals and aspirations, as well as their passions outside the office.
  5. Ensure your firm is always staffed appropriately. When employees are overworked, they are less likely to feel motivated and engaged. Make sure your company has access to skilled temporary professionals who can support your team when business demands escalate and during prolonged hiring processes.

For more on Robert Half, head to their site here.

Sean McCabe

Sean McCabe is a senior editor with Accounting Today.