Disengaged workers cost American companies billions. Almost seven out of 10 American workers were not engaged or were “actively disengaged” in their jobs, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this year. Just 32 percent of the polled workers were engaged in their jobs.
What does that mean? A lot to a business owner!
Engaged workers are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.
Gallup formulated its results based on tracking interviews conducted over 2014 with more than 80,000 American working adults. The percentage of engaged workers moved up slightly — 2 percent — over the previous year.
A worker who is engaged is psychologically committed to their job and likely to be making positive contributions to the company or organization. Those workers who are not engaged are unmotivated and won’t make an effort to reach the company’s goals or outcomes. The actively disengaged worker is unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to colleagues.
The cost to American companies is enormous. A Gallup estimate tabbed the cost of disengaged workers to their employers at between $450 billion and $550 billion per year.
In contrast, a culture of employee engagement can lead to up to 18% higher revenue per employee, for a total of 51% higher growth potential when combined with selecting the right managers and individual contributors, according to Gallup.
The Role of Management
Gallup found that managers play a key role in employee engagement. Managers with a natural talent for helping engage the workforce can account for variances as high as 70 percent for employee engagement.
Kevin Daum, writing in Inc. magazine, recommends assessing employees to understand their skills, then mentor them in their strengths and assemble teams to complement each others’ skill sets. Another practice is dedicating at least 20 hours a year for employee personal development, a practice Daum writes helps foster company loyalty and high morale.
Other tips range from helping employees feel special on their birthdays and first days at work, to using software tools to help with employee recognition and listening to ideas. Allowing employees to have their ideas or concerns heard and responded to helps build a connected and collaborative workplace, Daum writes.
In Forbes magazine, Meghan Biro writes that it’s important to support employees as “people with lives.” This means keeping employees inspired, fresh and happy by offering a good benefits package, respecting workers’ lives outside of work by not demanding long workdays or work weeks and encouraging innovation, creativity and teamwork.
It’s also important to link the company mission statement with employees to align their engagement with the company goals, Brio writes. And disseminate the company mission statement liberally in recruiting new employees and through videos, mobile and social platforms, Brio writes.
Recognition and Teamwork
Other advice centers on being transparent and having managers and leaders demonstrate the characteristics and behaviors workers are asked to display. Managers should be available and approachable. They should also take time to recognize employees, whether it’s saying “thank you” or through awards.
Start off on the right foot and create an engaged team from the get-go by being authentic, flexible and hiring for traits and behaviors rather than experience and education.
Engaging employees may take a little work and effort on the part of management. But the reward of increased productivity, employee retention and enthusiastic workers far outweighs the alternative.
Interested in learning how to create a more engaged team, or hiring the right team members from the start? Contact Principle Strategies.
#hr #engagement #recruiting #principlestrategies