IREM Blogs

Employee Engagement, Disengagement, and Everything In Between

August 29, 2019 | IREM


Satisfied employees like their work, but engaged employees love their company and reach for excellence. Deborah R. Phillips, Ph.D., CPM, will lead a discussion on employee engagement, and how to infuse more of it, at the IREM® (Institute of Real Estate Management) 2019 Global Summit. Phillips, an IREM instructor and president of The Quadrillion, an international consulting firm, completed her Ph.D. at Georgia Tech with a focus on this topic, and has taught more than 10,000 students in her courses at the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and other institutions.

Engagement is a critical driver of financial results. But a recent Gallup poll reports that 53% of U.S. employees are not engaged at work, with 13% actively disengaged, or unhappy, in their jobs. And those actively disengaged employees can cost you with lower productivity and higher absentee rates. Phillips’ session, “A Shot of Vitamin E—Engagement,” will explore the obstacles to workplace satisfaction, and help you build a culture of highly engaged employees within your company.

Among other factors, Phillips has found the alignment of job and talent essential to employee engagement. “Many people think it’s enough to pay your staff well,” she says. “But, despite salary, if the job fit isn’t right, the paycheck will wear out pretty fast.” For example, in the property management industry, an employee may have a passion for managing workforce or affordable housing. Such an alignment of job, skill and passion raises the position “from the transactional to the transformational.”

Her session will come with a heavy dose of reality. “We’re going to look at what engagement is,” she says, “how to measure it, and what to do for those who are totally disengaged. When people leave my session, not only will they be able to identify who’s disengaged, enrolled and engaged, they’ll also know how to infuse engagement to enhance a profitable bottom line.”

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