The country could return to high growth and greater economic success with a much more engaged, energized workforce
Polish businesses will need to find ways to heighten employees' positivity and enthusiasm for their jobs.
The Polish economy is outside the eurozone and, aided by the country's fiscal policies and large internal market, was among the European economies least affected by the global downturn. That's the good news.
But Poland could be doing a lot better. The country's 2011-2012 employee engagement results reflect similar percentages of engaged (17%) and actively disengaged (15%) workers. As in most countries, however, the bulk of Polish employees (68%) fall into the middle "not engaged" category.
About one in three Polish employees strongly agree that their job allows them to do what they do best every day, and one in four strongly agree that their opinions seem to count at work. Perhaps most notably, only one in five strongly agree that their supervisor encourages their development.
As in virtually all countries, Poland could reap economic benefits from having many more engaged employees -- particularly in areas where Eastern European workforces tend to score lower than Western European workforces, such as individual attention to employee development. In this regard, employees' immediate managers can make all the difference by talking to individual team members about their progress, supporting their development, and clarifying how their jobs support the company's overall mission and purpose.
Moving forward, more Polish businesses will need to find ways to heighten employees' positivity and enthusiasm for their jobs. Over the past decade, the country has become one of Eastern Europe's economic success stories, thanks to its liberalization reforms of the 1990s and European Union membership since 2004.
However, ongoing economic success is hardly a given. In the first quarter of 2013, Poland's GDP growth slowed to its lowest level since the early days of the global financial crisis. To help guarantee long-term economic gains, Polish leaders must consider how to boost the productivity of the country's workforce -- a strategy that will require businesses to focus on maximizing employee engagement.