Organizations Face Global Epidemic: Disengaged Employees
According to a recent study by Gallup, a staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged. This data doesn’t discriminate based on industry or organization size. Gallup polled diverse clients from small, middle, and enterprise-sized businesses in various industries.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement requires the right conditions for all members of an organization to give 110% each day. An engaged employee believes in their organization’s goals and values, and is motivated to contribute to the company’s overall success. A highly engaged workforce is the difference it takes to outperform competitors.
“Employee engagement is an investment we make for the privilege of staying in business.” –Ian Hutchinson
How To Improve Employee Engagement
1. Be Transparent
One of the biggest catalysts for employee disengagement is change. It’s human instinct to reject the unknown or different. In order to get your employees on board, embracing a new technology, system, etc. you must provide a clear, detailed explanation as to why you are doing so.
Explain why the decision was made, how you came to that conclusion, the impact it has on the future of the company, and whether or not it will directly affect employees. The main goal of this is to reinforce a stable foundation of trust within the organization. You don’t want your employees losing interest in their opportunity to contribute to the company’s future.
2. Articulate Growth Opportunities
A new SHRM study, 2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: The Doors of Opportunity Are Open, found that 21% of employees leave for career-advancement opportunities. If you want to keep your employees engaged and employed at your organization, then you need to not only offer growth opportunities, but articulate them.
Promising employees a chance to develop their skills or learn from your expertise is not enough. In this competitive job market, your team needs to see a clear path to how they can advance their career within your company.
When performance review comes around, offer tips, short-term goals, or coaching to help them achieve the growth they’re craving.
3. Appreciate and Acknowledge
No one likes to feel unappreciated. Recognition should be given frequently and, more importantly, with sincerity. An engaged employee feels supported, and is confident in their ability to achieve the goals they set through their own empowerment, and the encouragement they receive from upper management.
While you shouldn’t be handing out participation trophies, you should absolutely be recognizing a job well done. A simple “Excellent work on that project” or “I appreciate your input during our meeting” goes a long way.
4. Set Clear Goals
Many times employees feel disengaged because they aren’t sure what they are doing or why they are doing it. Don’t let your employees feel like cogs in a machine. Each member of your team should be able to clearly and concisely articulate what their job is, and how it contributes to the company’s overall mission in one sentence. If they can’t, then you are not doing your job as a leader.
5. Encourage Two-Way Feedback
Your employees are not robots. They have feelings, needs, and opinions that deserve your time and attention just as much as you deserve theirs. A lack of engagement is often a result of a lack of communication between higher and lower level employees.
Make sure that your employees aren’t letting their inner frustrations sit and fester. Instead, work with them to develop productive solutions as a team. Just as you provide them feedback, they should provide some as well.
You Reap What You Sow
When it comes to employee engagement, you reap what you sow. If your employees are embraced as a member of the team, focused on clear goals, receiving consistent constructive feedback, and appreciated and acknowledged for achievement, your organization will improve.