Earlier this year, Gallup released an extensive report regarding the modern U.S. workforce entitled The State of the American Workplace. Of the U.S. full-time workforce, equal to approximately 100 million employees, the report finds that only 33% are engaged at work, leaving 67% as disengaged or simply sleepwalking through their day. This means that only a third of the American workforce is absorbed by and enthusiastic about the work they do every day, and that’s somewhat shocking to read.
Employee engagement status is typically articulated via the following three categories:
- Engaged – employees that work with passion and feel connected to their company’s purpose;
- Not-Engaged – employees who are essentially just going through the motions of their job;
- Actively Disengaged – employees that are unhappy in their work and tend to act out their unhappiness and undermine what engaged employees are accomplishing around them.
If you think that the employee engagement concept has little to do with your organization, here are some interesting statistics to consider:
- 51% of U.S. employees say they are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings
- 35% of U.S. employees have changed jobs within the last three years
- 91% of U.S. employees say the last time they switched jobs was due to the “grass is always greener” mentality
Some leaders believe the ultimate goal of employee engagement is to improve worker happiness and job satisfaction. While happier workers can certainly be beneficial to a company, the true outcome of engaged employees is an improved bottom line. Engaged employees drive innovation and move the company forward because they are typically passionate about the mission and are thus more likely to go above and beyond. They are more likely to stay longer with their current employers, which reduces turnover and the costs associated with it. They develop more of an emotional stake in the company’s success, making them more effective and productive because they have greater purpose in their day-to-day work.
Complacency can be very costly for companies. The marketplace is shifting. What has worked in the past must be revisited, and that begins with awareness.
An effective way to measure employee engagement is by deploying an employee engagement survey. Ask employees for their opinions. An engagement survey is the employees’ opportunity to tell you what is important. What do they value most in their role and the company? What motivates and inspires them? What opportunities are essential to them in their daily work experience? Answers to these questions will not only assist in retaining your current employees, but also help develop more effective recruitment strategies.
Actively seek to understand each employee’s strengths and provide them with opportunities that put them in positions to succeed. Empower your people. Take the steps necessary to understand how to transform your company culture into one that encourages buy-in and inspires passion. Begin thinking of and treating your employees as team members critical to the success of your organization, and in time, they will bring their best to work each and every day.
Tina Brown is the HR Consulting Supervisor at MCM CPAs & Advisors. Tina began her HR career in the insurance and financial services industry, working in benefits administration, payroll, strategic planning, and training and development. For the past several years, she has worked in assessments, hiring assistance and development.
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