How engaged workplaces can drive job creation in a still-struggling economy. Getting the most out of the ever-important employee-customer encounter. And addressing the urgent and provocative question of whether a college education is worth it.
These are among the topics the Gallup Business Journal covered during 2013, a year in which Gallup found unemployment persistently hovering around 8% and underemployment around 17%, and in which the economy had yet to get back on track after the financial collapse of 2008.
We also tackled nagging problems of global income inequality and lowering healthcare and absenteeism costs in large companies while arguing why world leaders must begin to track Gross National Well-Being. To offer inspiration and encouragement in uncertain times, we showed you how the best companies have fostered employee engagement levels that double the U.S. national average rate of 30%. You can learn a lot from them.
Here are the GBJ editors' picks for the top articles of 2013 across 13 topic areas -- and the most popular article of the year, according to our readers. We hope you profit from reading -- or re-reading -- them and that your company has a prosperous 2014.
Most Popular Article of 2013: Five Questions You Must Ask Your Team
Teams, not managers, need to decide what's important to their engagement. They can do that by answering a handful of key questions.
Banking/Financial Services: How Customers Interact With Their Banks
When banks migrate customers from channels they prefer to use to channels they don't, they may lower those customers' engagement with the bank.
Business to Business (B2B): Finding the Right Measure of Success for B2Bs
An account impact scorecard allows business-to-business companies to manage the most important aspects of their customer relationships.
Customer Engagement: Getting the Most Out of the Employee-Customer Encounter
Only engaged workers can engage customers. But they can't do it if they don't know how to become "ambassadors" for the company's brand.
Education: Is College Worth It?
Yes, but boards of trustees and college presidents need new measures of success.
Employee Engagement: Don't Pamper Your Employees -- Engage Them
Free lunches, foosball tables, and other perks don't matter as much as your employees' engagement levels.
Entrepreneurship/Job Creation: Engaged Workplaces Are Engines of Job Creation
The good news: Engaged workplaces can boost economies. The bad news: Only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs.
Government: What's So Bad About Income Inequality?
Even in rich countries, it can have a dangerous influence on innovation, well-being, and GDP.
Healthcare: The Best Ways to Keep Hospital Patients Safe
How employee engagement and employee safety can work together to improve patient safety.
Leadership and Succession: Leadership Is More Than the C-Suite
Businesses must find the right people to fill four distinct types of leadership roles.
Selection: How Asia's Banks Can Win New Customers
Bank executives seeking an edge in the Asia-Pacific region must build trust and deepen customer relationships.
Strengths: How Managers Create High-Performance Workplaces
Lessons from the Gulf Cooperation Council region on what the best managers do differently.
Well-Being: Well-Being Lessons for America's Largest Employers
By following the example of America's highest well-being cities, these companies could save $22 billion annually in healthcare and absenteeism costs.
World Poll: Why World Leaders Must Track Gross National Well-Being
Well-being is a key indicator of a society's stability and economic momentum.