How to safeguard your organisation against employee disengagement

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Is your workforce working hard enough? If your organisation is in the majority, the truth is likely that they are not—but it may not be their fault.

Research from Gallup shows that as much as 85% of the global workforce is disengaged, with a higher percentage of respondents (18%) describing themselves as ‘actively disengaged’ than ‘engaged’ (15%).

These figures tell us that employee disengagement is a global problem, affecting the overwhelming majority of organisations. But how do you make sure you’re in the minority?

In this blog, Business Case Studies provides insight into employee disengagement and how you can ensure your staff feel motivated to do their best work for your organisation.

What is employee disengagement?

Employee disengagement is a situation in which people feel disconnected, apathetic or—at worst—hostile towards the organisation they work for. As a result, they underperform or do the bare minimum required to get by without drawing attention to themselves.

It’s thought that organisations worldwide lose around US$7 trillion every single year to employee disengagement. This is primarily through lost productivity, staff turnover and absenteeism. Companies with highly engaged workforces, on the other hand, perform 33% better on average than those faced with disengagement.

How can I safeguard my organisation?

Understandably, every organisation wants to be in the 15%. But with disengagement so widespread, many of us are clearly doing something wrong. What should a business’ priorities be when it comes to engaging their workforce?

PRIORITISE COMMUNICATION

Communication is the key to getting things done. However, many employees find themselves frustrated at being cut off from managers and other teams, forcing them to jump through hoops to accomplish the simplest of tasks. Moving from a vertical communication model to a horizontal one is shown to streamline corporate processes and boost engagement.

ASK QUESTIONS

‘Engage’ is just another word for ‘reach out’. You can’t successfully address employee disengagement without asking your staff why they feel disengaged. There are many ways you could do this, from introducing or reviewing engagement surveys to providing a direct mechanism for employees to voice their concerns. Even asking the simple question “how are you finding things” will make people feel heard and give you a springboard to work from.

REWARD PEOPLE

You’d like to think that people will simply work hard of their own volition, but pretending this is an option is putting you behind. Psychologically speaking, people work better when they’re incentivised. Putting a system in place for recognising top performers doesn’t just make people feel good and create a culture of ambition in your organisation, it lets habitual underperformers know you’re keeping an eye on things.

Conclusion

Engaging your workforce is about bridging the ever-widening gap that divides your organisation into ‘the company’ and ‘those that work for the company’. In an increasingly digital world, it’s easy for employees to feel alienated and isolated from the aims and culture of the organisation they work for. But making them feel valued, seen and heard will translate into real-world financial benefits for everyone.