Hay Group’s New Book, ‘The Enemy of Engagement’, Examines Impact of Employee Frustration

Research uncovers frustration as the ‘silent killer’ of workplace productivity

PHILADELPHIA--()--Workplace frustration is a silent epidemic creeping through organizations, yet it is rarely confronted or even recognized, according to the new book, The Enemy of Engagement. Frustration wears down motivated, dedicated employees who really care about their jobs but can’t get the organizational support they need to get things done. Focused on making contributions, these employees often hide their frustration, leaving managers in the dark about their discontent.

“Frustrated employees really want to succeed in their role, but become aggravated by organizational barriers or a lack of resources,” said Mark Royal, the book’s co-author and senior consultant at Hay Group. “Managers must ask the right questions and address the issue promptly, or risk losing top talent who care deeply about the organization.”

The Enemy of Engagement takes an in-depth look at the productivity drain that employee frustration has on organizations. Frustrated employees represent 20 percent or more of the total workforce, leading to a major loss in performance, talent, and revenue, according to research by authors Mark Royal and Tom Agnew.

The key to minimizing frustration is not only to engage employees, but also to enable them to work productively. The authors’ research* demonstrates that combining engagement and enablement leads to higher revenue growth and lower turnover levels. Companies ranking in the top quartile on both engagement and enablement achieve revenue growth four and a half times greater than companies ranking high on engagement alone. In addition, companies that both engage and enable employees demonstrate a total reduction in voluntary turnover of 54 percent.

“Frustration isn’t an ‘employee’ issue; it is an organizational issue,” said Tom Agnew, the book’s co-author and senior consultant at Hay Group. “Managers must listen for clues and serve as the voice for frustrated employees.”

The Enemy of Engagement highlights the main drivers of frustration and offers managers ideas for addressing each. Three major sources of frustration include:

  • Poor communication about goals, performance: Nearly one-third of employees indicate that their managers do not effectively communicate the goals and objectives for their teams.
  • Resource constraints: One-third of employees report that they do not have the resources and information they need to do their jobs well. More than half of employees express concerns about inadequate staffing levels in their work areas.
  • Unclear authority: Thirty percent of employees indicate that they do not have enough authority to carry out their jobs effectively, and more than 40 percent feel that the potential for adverse consequences discourages them from taking actions or making decisions.

The Enemy of Engagement is available for purchase via Hay Group’s website: www.haygroup.com/ww/enemyofengagement

For more information on The Enemy of Engagement or to arrange an interview, please contact Andrea Friedman at Andrea@blisspr.com or +1 212-584-5476.

About Hay Group Insight

For over 35 years Hay Group Insight — the survey research division of Hay Group — has partnered with the world’s largest and most complex organizations to create value through the strategic use of employee survey research. Our mission is to help senior leaders identify the barriers to individual and organizational effectiveness, and remove them to improve the performance of people, teams and entire organizations.

By providing employee feedback and supporting strategy, our surveys help organizations achieve high levels of performance and lasting change.

About Hay Group

Hay Group is a global consulting firm that works with leaders to turn strategies into reality. We develop talent, organize people to be more effective, and motivate them to perform at their best. With 84 offices in 48 countries, we work with over 7,000 clients across the world. Our clients are from the public and private sector, across every major industry, and represent diverse business challenges. Our focus is on making change happen and helping organizations realize their potential.

*This information is based on Hay Group Insight’s employee opinion database, made up of responses from more than four million employees worldwide.


For Hay Group
Andrea Friedman, +1 212-584-5476

Release Summary

Workplace frustration is a silent epidemic creeping through organizations, yet it is rarely confronted or even recognized, according to new book, The Enemy of Engagement, by Mark Royal and Tom Agnew.


For Hay Group
Andrea Friedman, +1 212-584-5476