Seven out of ten people aren’t all that interested in their jobs! Find out what it’s costing your business, and take advantage of these five ways to improve employee engagement.
source: Tom Fishburne – tomfishburne.com
If it is true that an appalling 7 out of every 10 US workers aren’t just apathetic but are “actively disengaged” from their job, as the most recent Gallup survey of the American workplace asserts, then it’s likely that your business is also paying the price. Find out what dismal levels of employee engagement can do to a business, and what you can do about it.
It is hard to imagine how any business could even survive – let alone thrive – if 7 out of every 10 of its employees are more or less completely “checked out,” but that’s the dismal news from Gallup this week, based on results from their most recent US employee engagement in the 2010-2012 survey of the American workplace.
Gallup has been studying engagement levels of US workers on an on-going basis since 2000. Here are some of the key findings from the most recent version of the study:
- Two out of 10 workers are “actively disengaged” – they actually undermine their companies with their attitude
- Five out of every 10 workers are “not engaged” – they are just going through the motions at work
- A mere three out of every 10 workers “is engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace”
- The estimated cost to the US economy is as much as $550 Billion
- Baby boomers were more likely to be disengaged than other age groups
- Employees with college degrees were more likely to be running on auto-pilot at work
- Managers had the highest levels of engagement, sales professionals the lowest
Why Employee Engagement Matters
Every business leader should be concerned about the levels of employee engagement – and disengagement – within their organization. Beyond the impact to the economy overall, here are some of the important reasons that employee engagement matters:
Businesses with Engaged Workers Have 2x the Job Creation
There seems to be a direct correlation between employee engagement and business growth. Engaged employees were twice as likely as actively disengaged workers to report that their organization was creating new jobs.
Conversely, the actively disengaged were 3x more likely to report that their organizations were actually losing jobs – or decreasing in size – than actively engaged workers.
Conclusion: Business growth isn’t just tied to the economy, but is more likely a product of its own success as driven by its environment, performance and leadership (leading to higher numbers of engaged employees).
You might also like: 4 Ways to Invest in Employees and Grow Your Business (dbsquaredinc.com)
Assuming that at least some measure of the ability for your business to succeed lies in your ability to achieve and maintain high levels of employee engagement, here are five ways to create an organizational culture which fosters employee engagement.
5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement
1. To increase employee engagement in your business, give people something to believe in.
In the same Gallup study, fewer than half (41%) said that they even knew what their company stood for or what makes it different from competitors. If your employees don’t even know why your business deserves to exist (defined in your mission statement) and what differentiates it from other businesses like yours (the unique selling propositions needed to achieve your vision statement), then how can you expect them to have any enthusiasm or commitment to your business?
2. To increase employee engagement in your organization, remove barriers.
It’s not enough for employees to know how their role contributes to the fulfillment of your business’ mission and vision, they also need to know how everything works as a whole. Create transparency within your organization and provide opportunities for cross training so that employees understand how each role in your business contributes to its success.
3. To increase employee engagement, make it personal.
Everyone is not motivated by the same factors nor is everyone gratified by the same rewards. Finding out what makes your employees tick and doing what it takes to make them feel valued will make them feel more personally connected – and committed – to your business and its success.
4. To increase employee engagement, look for investment opportunities.
If all you offer employees is a paycheck, the most you should expect to receive in return is fulfillment of responsibilities. Demonstrate your commitment to your employees in creating opportunities for advancement, job enrichment, education and training and in improving the environment in which they work (in ways you don’t have to) and employees will notice, and respond, with appreciation and a deeper sense of commitment to the organization.
5. To increase employee engagement, create constant two way traffic.
People who feel powerless to affect change rarely try to do so. If you want employees to commit themselves to the fulfillment of your organization’s mission and vision, they must be empowered and encouraged to freely, constructively bring their concerns, problems suggestions, complaints and ideas to the table. And when they do, they must see that their contribution was acted upon (or at least responded to) in some way.
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