According to 2017 Gallup Poll, 51% of the U.S workforce is not engaged. Additionally, 37% of engaged employees are looking for jobs or watching for opportunities, as are 56% of not engaged and 73% of actively disengaged employees.
That is saying a lot about how employees perceive their current jobs and workplace. The fact that employees feel disengaged, is a disturbing trend, however, it does not imply that employees dislike their jobs. The ground reality could be that disengaged employees may need more stimulation at work to keep them motivated. They may need challenging roles and a work pattern that’s dynamic, thereby enabling them to learn on-the-job. They may be seeking a work environment that makes them feel integrated to the culture of the organization. While others, may be seeking timely feedback or more leadership roles.
Although the reasons for employee dissatisfaction can prove exhaustive, the ground reality is that managers and owners, need to find newer ways to keep their employees engaged at work. The question is how?
1. Start with a Survey:
A survey can be a powerful tool to get insights into the employees’ state of mind. Make the survey anonymous to enable employees to give frank answers in the questionnaire. Firms may either hire consultants to conduct the survey, or opt for free resources such as SurveyMonkey or Google surveys. Share the insights of the survey with your employees and managers, so that they can recommend newer ways to improve engagement.
2. Encourage Meaningful Communication:
Communication is key to employee engagement and managers have a big role to play in bridging the gap. Employees who communicate often with their mangers and teams, tend to be happier and more engaged at work. The medium of communication may include face-to-face, digital or a simple phone call. However, it is equally important that the conversation is kept positive, inclusive and relaxed, because the quality of the conversation determines how motivated the employees feel. Secondly, employees must feel free to communicate their opinion and issues with their reporting mangers, so that appropriate measures can be taken to help resolve the matter.
3. Build Employee Strengths:
In most cases, disengaged employees fare low in the discretionary efforts parameter. The organization’s leadership can help employees achieve their true potential by focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses. Thereafter, employees can be assigned jobs/tasks that match their skill, aptitude and inclination, thereby improving their efficiency and performance.
4. Effective Performance Management:
Instead of treating it as a formal annual activity, performance management should be treated as medium to help employees understand their job responsibilities and short- and long-term goals in the organization. Once employees understand what is expected out of them, they’ll be more productive, contributive and engaged at work.
5. Provide Timely Training:
It may be possible that some employees are lagging because they lack the skills needed to do a particular task. Providing timely job training can help employees accomplish their tasks with ease and keep them motivated. They should also be given opportunities to job shadow colleagues to learn about new roles. Special assignments and leadership roles must also be assigned to encourage employees to achieve excellence within the organization.
Get to know your employees and their career goals to understand the tasks they would be best-suited for. Once organizations start focusing on employee development, engagement levels are more likely to increase.