Why be concerned about disengaged employees? For starters, they make up a surprisingly large percentage of the workforce. At any given time, about 51% of workers say they are ready to abandon ship as soon as they find a better place to go.
Disengaged employees are not only flight risks, they´re also less likely to be assets to your business. Gallup reports that among engaged employees, 70% feel that they know how to meet customer needs; 78% would recommend their company's products, and 67% would advocate for their company. But putting these numbers alongside the number of disengaged, those seemingly big numbers are actually just a small piece of the pie. Disengagement also means lost productivity—to the tune of $450-550 billion annually in the U.S.
Employee disengagement costs—and costs a lot. So how does a company engage, and continue to engage, the workforce it works hard to attract? Don´t make the mistake of thinking that a juicy benefits package will keep employees from looking elsewhere. According to Gallup, the primary reason workers leave jobs is a perceived lack of rapport with their managers. Despite increasing awareness that employee engagement is a crucial predictor of work performance and retention, 75% of employers say they have no management plan or strategy for engagement. Worse still, half-hearted efforts such as engagement surveys, if it’s not backed up with a real plan of action, can do more harm than good.
How do managers learn to conserve and nurture that invaluable resource—human beings—with which they´re entrusted? What are the qualities of managers that make their subordinates feel they’re being evaluated accurately? What kind of feedback do employees find relevant and helpful? How does a company ensure that the managers it hires are conveying a sincere sense of interest in workers? How does a team culture develop in which employees believe their efforts will be recognized and rewarded?
Carefully thought out answers to these questions would make you contemplate on tools that can make real teams work on real goals, and with the right employee engagement strategies. Look around and examine your work culture. It's high time to rethink the way you manage people.