THE ENGAGEMENT GAP
Seven Critical Things Every Leader Needs to Know About How Your Staff Feels About Working for You!
In this age of technology awareness, it can come as no surprise that one of biggest challenges facing leaders in every sector of the work environment is employee engagement and employee retention. Recently numerous research firms have had a strong emphasis on compiling information on employee attitudes and behaviors in the workplace. Findings strongly support that an organization’s leadership has a direct influence on an employee’s sense of engagement or demotivation related to workplace interactions.
This article provides seven (7) critical things every leader needs to know and think about concerning current hindering statistics related to engagement in today’s workplace:
- Disengaged employees cost organizations $450 - $550 billion each year. Disengaged employees take less responsibility and ownership of their jobs, have negative attitudes related to the work and the workplace, engage in more poor behaviors at work, and drain organizational resources. This is counter-productive to achieving long-term organizational success.
- 85% of employees are not engaged at work, which means only 15% of your staff are engaged. This translates to the majority of your staff are doing just enough at work to keep their jobs, but have no real emotional attachment to the work. They indulge in what I call the ‘Pay-Home Syndrome’ – basically their attitude is “I come work to do my j-o-b, get my p-a-y, and go h-o-m-e; and don’t ask me to do one thing more”. That’s not a good foundation upon which a leader can build a foundation for maximum productivity. It’s a recipe for mediocrity.
- 81% of employees would leave their job today if the right offer was made, even if they were not actively looking. Of that number, 74% of the younger population would even consider a pay cut, and 24% of older workers would not need a pay increase if either group felt the move would provide a better work environment. Although the statistics support the majority of your staff would leave even if they were not actively looking, current trends also support the 51% of workers are on the alert and looking for other opportunities. So that says about half of your staff have one foot out the door while they do just enough to keep their current jobs.
- Companies with an engaged workforce are 21% more profitable that organizations with disengaged staff. One report suggests that organizations with high employee engagement have outperformed those with low employee engagement by 202%. These findings fully support that employee engagement is not a ‘touchy feely” concept that is a waste of a leader’s time and energy. It has a real, tangible impact on an organization’s bottom line. The prudent leader embraces that fact.
- 80% of employees reveal that they would willing work more hours to get the work done for a more empathetic manager. Leadership styles can vary with personality and training. However, no matter what the leadership style, it is the leader with high emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) who is most successful in connecting with their staff. Leaders with a high EQ are strong in 12 interpersonal competencies. Of the 12, empathy and compassion are two that employees find most critical to the likability factor of their manager and for their capacity to connect to the goals of the organization. When there is no emotional connection to the manager or the organization, employees have no motivation to kick in any extra effort.
- When asked what’s the most important thing a manager can do to enhance employee value, 37% (the majority) of a nationwide survey cited recognition as the most important aspect of support. Other factors included autonomy (12%), inspiration (words of encouragement (12%), pay (7%), more training (6%), promotion and mobility (4%). Clearly recognition was the clear front runner when employees assessed managerial support. Taking employees for granted is an instant disengagement strategy and a certain path of failure in creating a motivational climate for those you lead.
- In an 11-year study by a global research firm, finding support that companies that had a strong, positive workforce with highly engaged staff had four times the revenue increase than work cultures with disengaged staff. A positive work culture is defined as a company that invests in progressive leadership development and training, consistently show appreciation and value for employees and what they bring to the organization, as well as are highly customer focused. Companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty.
There are numerous additional statistics that clearly support that the concept of employee engagement is critical to leadership effectiveness. Those cited herein are just some of the most impacting trends that explains why companies in all sectors have now placed employee engagement at the top of the list as a critical leadership challenge. The prudent leader must seek to understand employee engagement strategies that lead to enhancing employee productivity, retaining top performers, building high-performing teams, and connecting employees to the organization’s strategic goals. These priorities must be a major component of any organization’s strategic plan if leaders desire to maintain longevity in the marketplace and a strong competitive position.
Check out the next article for some simple strategies to begin to ignite your engagement strategy for your staff. If you’d like more information on these and other alarming statistics, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. A leadership guru is noted to have said, true leadership is not about you…it’s about guiding others to success and ensuring followers are performing at their very best. That’s the essence of employee engagement. Have a phenomenally blessed week!
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