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Engaging the disengaged

CultureJune 23, 2016

Engaging the disengaged (Last Updated On: June 5, 2018)

Disengaged employees within the workplace can cause significant problems for employers. According to a US study, disengaged employees cost businesses $350 billion a year. It was also found that only 31% of workers worldwide are truly engaged.

Not only can employee disengagement cause problems due to lack of productivity, but it is also evident disengaged employees often have a lack of respect for the employer, which, in some cases, has led to costly discrimination claims and unfair dismissal applications. Often when employees are truly engaged they have a positive relationship with management and feel more comfortable discussing any concerns.

A common misconception when it comes to retaining top staff is a competitive remuneration. While salary is a key driver, recent case studies have shown that employees are looking for more. This includes:

  • to be in control of their work and know they have a voice when it comes to the delivery of that work
  • to play an active role in achieving the company’s goals, while satisfying their own personal goals
  • to contribute to and share in the sense of achievement
  • opportunity for career development and training
  • clear communication from management
  • flexibility

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Having engaged employees in the workplace can greatly impact the overall energy and culture in a positive way. Engaged employees can result in:

  • mutual trust between management and employees.
  • reduced staff turnover rates, in turn reducing recruitment costs
  • attraction and retention of talented employees
  • improved customer service and experience
  • a more adaptive work culture
  • increases in productivity and therefore, profitability
  • employee advocacy – a 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? The first step would be to assess your current work environment and culture to identify any stand areas for improvement.

A great way to start on improving employee engagement is to engage and speak with employees to understand their needs.

Some keys questions may be:

  • are you challenged by your current role and the work performed?
  • what are your career plans?
  • are you aware of how your work contributes to the business?
  • what do you most enjoy about working for the company
  • If you could identify one major area you would like to improve, what would this be?
  • 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.

If you are struggling with how to manage disengaged or unproductive employees, call Employsure to make sure you are taking the appropriate steps, in line with legislative requirements. Call us today on 1300 651 415.

Louisa McInerney, Employment Relations Consultant


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