It is common knowledge that employees who love their work, respect their employer. Employees who have so much passion for their job, will go a long way doing the best they can to serve their employer and the customer. These are basically the employees who are said to be well engaged.
On the contrary, employees who are not engaged cost the company without adding much value, in some cases even eroding the very value created by their engaged colleagues. It is important therefore, to take the matter of employee engagement seriously as it directly impacts company performance.
According to the Gallup research, actively disengaged employees cost the United States (US) economy between $450 billion and $550 billion in lost productivity every year. The ratio of engaged employees in the US is around 30 percent.
Only13 percent of staff worldwide are engaged at work, according to Gallup State of the Global Workplace report. This means that the world as a whole loses out so much in lost productivity. If we can boost the proportion of the employees that are engaged across the globe, the whole world would greatly benefit.
Let us first look at the three categories of employees in terms of engagement.
- Engaged: These are employees who work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organisation forward. They are prepared to work after hours if needed and they will go the extra mile for the sake of serving the company or its customers.
- Not-engaged: These are the employees who are essentially ‘checked out’. They are sleepwalking through their workday. They clock the time, but they have no energy or passion for their work. They are physically present but mentally out of the office. They do the bare minimum required of them, sometimes less. Sadly, this group of employees is very difficult to trace or identify.
- Actively disengaged: These are the employees that aren’t just unhappy at work. They are busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish. They are constantly injecting negative energy into the company and they may be quite disruptive.
Below are five measures that you can take to boost employee engagement at your workplace.
- Gain actionable feedback: Conduct a survey of some sort to gain clear feedback on areas that work well for staff as well as areas that can be improved in ways that can make the staff happy and passionate enough to be highly engaged and to go the extra mile.
- Embed engagement at all levels of management and leadership: Often times, engagement is left to the Human Resources (HR) team to deal with. In fact, employee engagement is supposed to be part of the core strategy of any organisation. Embed employee engagement in key leadership and management issues from the top most leader down the ranks to the bottom most level.
- Appoint correct managers and supervisors: Not all managers and supervisors are great in their roles. If you appoint or select wrong managers and supervisors, that is the beginning of the problem with employee engagement. Select into management those employees that are capable of motivating staff, capable of inspiring their teams with positive energy, positive working environment.
- Train managers in employee engagement: We have mentioned above the importance of having the correct managers and supervisors in place if employee engagement is to be optimised. The first step is to promote correct officers into management in this regard. What about those managers who are already in position but struggling with employee engagement? You need to train, coach and support them until they master the art.
- Define and embed employee engagement in everyday employee life: The mistake that many managers and leaders make is that they think that employee engagement is a project which they can work on for some time. n