It is a competitive market out there and millions of employees have responded to the difficulties of a global pandemic by leaving their jobs. I just learned that the term that has been coined for this exodus is called the “Great Resignation”. So, it goes without saying that an employee’s engagement is golden. That’s the key finding of a study a few years ago titled,"Employee Engagement and Organizational Commitment." According to the study, employee engagement (the willingness of an employee to go the extra mile to help his or her company succeed) has a positive relationship with customer satisfaction, productivity, profit, employees' retention and organizational success and profit.
Similar studies found that in 18 countries, companies with the highest level of employee engagement achieve better financial results and are more
successful in retaining their most valued employees than companies with lower levels of engagement. Those companies with the highest percentage of engaged workers have 21% higher profitability, with 17% higher productivity than companies with a disengaged workforce.
The latest Gallup reports 51% are disengaged in the workplace and 13% are actively disengaged. When someone is actively disengaged, this means that
they are feeling miserable and spreading that negativity to others. This can be toxic over time. The good news is that employee engagement reaps great reward. The bad news is that employee disengagement costs the U.S. economy around $450-550 billion every year. Can you imagine?? Currently, this is an area that leadership within companies need to be proactive about instead of being reactive.
Closing the Gap
These numbers reflect an engagement gap between what companies need in order to meet their goals, what workers give and companies’ effectiveness in channeling employee effort. Contrary to the myth that engagement is an inherent trait, senior leadership has a significant impact on employee engagement. Employees reported that the top motivation for increased engagement was the belief that senior management had their best interests at heart. Unfortunately, when questioned, only 10 percent of workers believed that was true. More than half of the respondents felt that managers treated them as if they didn’t matter at all. This is why I have often said that relationships are so important, and investing in relationships is such a vital aspect to the health of your organization.
To close the engagement gap, managers might try:
1. Communicating the benefits of engagement.
The survey revealed that employees are eager to invest more of themselves to help the company succeed, but they want to understand how their efforts will benefit them. If it continues to be a one-directional building that bolsters the profits of an organization without a deeper conversation into the building of the people within the organization, the experience for an employee can be slanted towards a transactional approach and this can be deflating. According to Trade Press Services, effective internal communications motivate 85% of employees to become more engaged in the workplace.
2. Showing that they care and value the employees.
The survey concluded that companies need to understand their workers as well as they do their customers, and then design a work environment that reflects that understanding. Acknowledgement and appreciation for the employees should not be an after- thought. It should be within the fiber of every leader. Recognition is the most important motivator for 37% of employees.
3. Emotionally connecting with, and inspiring, their workforce.
Recognize the employees’ untapped energy (33% of employees leave their job because they are bored) and aspirations, and then direct it in ways that yield real results. This takes time and an intentionality to make deposits into relationships that allows leaders to truly understand those that they are surrounded by. While the above behaviors are a short list, adopting them could make a key difference to your company’s bottom line.
What else might you add to this list? How do you feel you are doing with your teams in your organization? How do you monitor employee engagement? What support do you need? Utilize this link to set up a time with me so I can understand how best to support the challenges you are facing right now.