To Stem Employee Disengagement, Create a Community—Not a Corporation

Employee Disengagement

Look for these signals that your workers have already checked out

Disengaged employees can siphon your profits and negatively impact productivity and morale—and this can happen all without your even being aware of it. In total, Gallup estimates, employee disengagement costs U.S. businesses upwards of $550 billion annually in lost productivity—for you, that can be more than $2,000 per employee per year.

While employee disengagement often grows undetected, there are skills you can use to recognize its signs, motivate employees, and earn loyalty, says HR expert Carol Hacker. Disengaged employees can be counselled with confidence, credibility, and tact, says Hacker, and departments can be built to function more as a community and less as a corporation. 

Are Your Employees Disengaged? Chances Are, Yes

Workplace productivity is strongly tied to employee engagement, notes The Muse. Employees who don’t care may go through the motions well enough to not cause an obvious problem, and employers may think their perks and pay are enough to keep folks happy.

But, The Muse also reports, disengagement is more prevalent than you may suspect:

  • 70 percent of U.S. workers are not engaged at work
  • Only 12 percent of employees who leave their jobs do so for money
  • Most of the workers who quit aren’t quitting their jobs, they are quitting their bosses
  • Most employees are not aware of their company’s goals, strategies, and tactics
  • Employees who are engaged get feedback more than twice as often as those who aren’t
  • Companies with engaged employees have more than double the revenue of companies with low employee engagement levels

The problem in a nutshell: Disengaged employees, says, TalentCulture, are “not poised to put in extra effort for success. They don’t like going to work most days. They’re unlikely to recommend the products of, or employment with, their employer.”

Disengagement Action Plan: Diagnose & Treat

Disengagement can be tricky to reverse for several reasons, adds Gallup, in particular because there is not just one type of disengagement. There are two: not engaged and actively disengaged. Regardless of the type, there are several clues that your workers have checked out, explains 15five.These warning signs include:

  • No Initiative
  • Unhealthy activities
  • Silence
  • Lack of learning
  • Wasted weekends

Many of those seeking to counsel disengaged employees have come to the conclusion that the workplace needs to be more like a community and less like an impersonal corporation.

“Community means caring about our work, our colleagues, and our place in the world, geographic and otherwise, and in turn being inspired by this caring,” suggests the Harvard Business Review. Creating such a community involves “middle-out”, not “top-down” guidance—as well as a robust culture and an atmosphere that promotes trust.

How? Start with small groups, reflect on shared experiences, and let small initiatives grow into big strategies, recommends HBR.

An organization knows that communityship is firmly established when its members reach out in socially active, responsible, and mutually beneficial ways to the broader community,” the journal adds.

With the economy booming and unemployment rates at historic lows, says Hacker, now is the time to focus on reversing employee disengagement to improve employee retention and the bottom line.

(This post first appeared in an AudioSolutionz blog)

By Jeff S on 18th August 2018

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