Don’t discount the effect of employee engagement on your workplace.
Disengaged employees are, unfortunately, a serious issue at many organizations. Just 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work, according to a Gallup poll.
The expense of employing a number of disengaged employees can be considerable: Just one can cost an organization $2,246 a year.
Engaged employees, on the other hand, provide a significant number of benefits. Organizations that ranked in the top employee engagement quartile in a recent Gallup poll had less turnover and quality defects. They also experienced higher profitability and productivity.
Disengagement can start small, but spread rapidly over time. If you suspect disengaged employees are present at your organization, dealing with the problem immediately can prevent it from becoming a major institution-wide concern.
Find out what early warning signs to watch for — and how to correct the problem before your organization incurs considerable productivity- and cost-related issues:
Examine employee sentiment. If you’re not sure how employees currently feel about their job, create a survey to find out. A regularly distributed employee engagement survey can help you gauge overall feelings of satisfaction or frustration your staff and/or certain departments may be feeling so you can make any necessary adjustments.
Watch for disengaged employee indicators. Identifying individual workers who are becoming disengaged is also important. Excuses, complaining, gossip and an unwillingness to help others are key signs employee engagement may be faltering, according to Entrepreneur. As the Chartered Management Institute points out, disengaged employees may also have time-related issues, such as arriving late and frequently taking a long lunch.
Hold managers accountable for employee engagement. In the U.S., employee engagement reached its highest level in 2014 since 2000 — which Gallup says could be attributed to better economic conditions, but may also be the result of an increased focus on engagement, as managers are often now evaluated on employee engagement metrics.
Don’t overdo it. Offering fun activities and scheduled company outings may seem like an obvious way to excite workers and prevent them from turning into disengaged employees. However, studies, according to Inc., have shown efforts to infuse fun into the workday can actually lower productivity and job satisfaction, as not all workers will want to participate; likewise, while teambuilding events can provide some positive effects, they may also reduce productivity. Use them in moderation.
Engage the overall organization. Companies with outposts in different cities or countries around the world may have disengaged employees issues because they have such a spread out workforce. Sharing the organization’s successes with all areas of the company and addressing regional management and communication differences can help. To unify and energize employees, try these tips for increasing employee engagement in remote locations.
Improving your overall employee value proposition can help increase employee engagement, and potentially boost profitability; and it doesn't have to cost millions.
In fact, some quick employee engagement fixes may be less expensive than you think — so if your organization is dealing with a tight budget and disengaged employees, don't automatically write off potential programs that could help employees feel happier when they’re at work.