What's worse than working for a company where you don't feel engaged? Being a woman and working for a company where you don't feel engaged, according to a new study from The Boston Consulting Group that indicates that many companies fall short of providing the kind of environment where employees -- especially women in senior-level positions -- feel engaged.
And they do so at a price. Not surprisingly, companies with low employee engagement scores tend to have weaker financial performance, according to the report.
That's bad for everyone, but it turns out it's especially bad for women. The study found that in companies where overall employee engagement is low, there's a gap between the engagement levels of men and women that widens with seniority -- a gap that doesn't exist in companies with high engagement scores.
Appreciation and work-life balance are key
BCG looked at seven key factors that may lead to low employee engagement and found that a lack of appreciation for one's work and a lack of work-life balance topped the list when ranked by relative importance to employees.
InHerSight's data, collected from more than 65,000 working women who rated their employers on 14 different metrics, agrees with BCG findings: in the area of work-life balance, companies could do a lot better. “As men rise in seniority, they report more support from their colleagues for their nonwork obligations, while women report the opposite,” the report notes.
No one-size-fits-all solutions
But for companies looking to solve these problems, it's not as simple as checking a few boxes and implementing some shiny new policies. As the report states, "The [InHerSight] data is clear: even the best programs will not improve engagement if they don’t offer what employees want."
Platforms like InHerSight make it possible for companies to find out what's driving their employee engagement. Understanding the real causes of engagement issues is the first step to finding a solution, and women -- especially women in senior positions -- are more likely than anyone to be tuned in to those problems. “This is the most critical step,” the researchers write. “And one that companies often miss in their rush to move directly to implementing solutions.”
For details on how companies canmnrespond to engagement disparities, read the full BCG study here.
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