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CultureSeptember 30, 2013
Disengaged employees within the workplace can cause significant problems for employers. According to a recent case study, conducted in the United States, disengaged employees cost businesses $350 billion dollars a year. It was also found that only 31% of workers worldwide are truly engaged.
Not only can employee disengagement cause problems to the employer through the productivity of staff but it has also been evident that disengaged employees often fail to have respect for the employer which has been found to lead to an increase in costly discrimination claims and unfair dismissal applications. Often when employees are truly engaged they have a positive relationship with management. Employees feel more comfortable addressing any concerns that arise within the workplace directly with management.
A common misconception from management is the key to employee engagement and retaining top talent is competitive remuneration. Recent case studies have shown that this idea is unsupported. Although remuneration is a key driver, recent case studies have shown that employees want:
– Autonomy. Employees want to feel in control of the work that they are performing and have a voice in how they perform their work.
– To be included in problem solving and enjoy the challenge of developing creative solutions. Employees want to play an active role in achieving their company and personal goals.
– To understand the purpose for their contribution and feel a sense of achievement when completing tasks.
– Attention from management and career development opportunities.
– Clear communication from management.
Why is Employee Engagement Important?
As noted above, disengaged employees can cost the workplace a great deal. It has also been found that 4 in 10 employees within the United States plan to leave the company they work for as they do not feel valued. This is a problem for the employer if the employee is considered to be a talented employee.
Having engaged employees within the workplace can greatly impact the workplace in a positive way. Engaged employees can result in:
– Mutual trust between management and employees.
– Reduced turnover rates, and therefore reduced recruitment costs.
– Attraction and retention of talented employees.
– Improved customer service.
– Employees are often more adaptive to change in a competitive climate.
– Increased employee commitment can lead to increases in profitability.
– Employee advocacy: A recent case study found that 78% of engaged employees recommend the company’s products and services.
How do you engage your employees?
If employee engagement is key to a successful business, how do you achieve employee engagement? It is important to assess the current culture and point out any improvements. A great way to start on improving employee engagement is to start speaking with employees and asking the hard questions. Feel comfortable to ask your employees what they want from management and what satisfies them in their role. We suggest a monthly one on one with each employee.
Some keys questions may be:
– Is the work you are performing challenging enough?
– What are your career plans?
– Do you understand how your work contributes to the business?
– What do you most enjoy about working for the company?
– What can I do to assist you in your role?
Once you know what you need to improve, you can begin implementing changes to help engage your employees.
By Louisa McInerney, Employment Relations Consultant