Inc.: There’s an employee engagement problem, but there’s a fix

Lindner professor offers tips on improving remote employee connection, buy-in to company mission

Scott Dust, PhD, associate professor of management and Fealy Family Chair in Entrepreneurship, provided Inc. with advice for employers on navigating connection and engagement issues among remote employees.

Although employee engagement appears to be on the rise, according to recent Gallup survey data, buy-in to a company’s mission and vision among remote employees remains a concern. Solving this issue requires collaboration with employees and critical evaluation of a company’s needs, purpose and culture.


Scott Dust, associate professor of management and Fealy Family Chair in Entrepreneurship.

The first step, Dust tells Inc., is understanding “the why.” Dust encourages employers to ask why this lack of connection is an issue and what consequences it may be causing for the team and for the company. This allows employers to adapt their remediation strategies to the specific issue.

Additionally, to facilitate employee buy-in to the company mission, clarification may be needed on what the mission is, what it means and how it impacts an employee’s specific role. But even then, there may still be barriers to overcome.

“A lot of employees are super skeptical if you try to convince them that making a huge profit is benefiting the world in a significant way,” said Dust.  

Other questions in evaluating the situation include asking if employees have the tools, resources and support needed for them to succeed. 

“If you want employees to be high performers, and you want them to not leave the organization, maybe what they really want is flexibility,” advised Dust. “Maybe what they really want is leadership development."   

Read more on addressing this issue head-on from Inc.

Featured image at top: An employee working remotely attends a virtual meeting. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

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