Why be concerned about disengaged employees? For starters, they make up a surprisingly large percentage of the workforce. At any given time, about 25% 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. Among the disengaged, those numbers are all a dismal 17% or less. Disengagement also means lost productivity—to the tune of $370 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 own bosses. 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?
- Telework Research Network (2010).
- Gallup statistics, reported at http://www.thesocialworkplace.com/2011/08/08/social-knows-employee-engagement-statistics-august-2011-edition/
- Gallup statistics reported at https://skydrive.live.com/view.aspx?Bsrc=Share&Bpub=SDX.SkyDrive&resid=A8AE25284CC75F9B!187&cid=a8ae25284cc75f9b