According to a Gallup poll employee engagement is at an 18 year high. That’s good news! But the problem with this news is that in 2018 that 18 year high, only amounts to 34% of employees that are engaged in the business that they work at. Engaged meaning that they actually like their jobs and that they want to further the company’s goals, and that those goals align with their own (at least in theory). And as any business owner can tell you an engage employee is valuable.
The other 66% percent of employees are in the the disengaged or actively disengaged categories at 53% and 13% respectively. First thing is first is an employee is actively disengaged then that can be interpreted as an employee that is actively working against the company. As much as it may pain business owners, you cannot reach an actively disengaged employee. To be honest it may be in a business owners best interest to let these people go. Dismissing actively disengaged employees will boost morale inside of a company and will become a blessing in disguise for the actively disengaged employee because him or her will be able to find a position they can truly enjoy.
But let’s get back the disengaged employees, these people you can most definitely reach, however you’ll have to give them something. Speaking as someone who has been disengaged from multiple jobs, the main reasons for disengagement are two fold, a lack of buy in and boredom. Let’s start with the lack of buy in, what I mean by that is that disengaged employees don’t really buy in to the company mission. I mean, yeah “becoming the best, most cool company in our space that accomplishes everything” sounds really cool as a mission statement but if the employee sees no benefit for company success, why would they care? Well they probably don’t but that could be an opportunity to severely outpace the average and have high employee engagement numbers.
How would you do that? By literally getting your employees to buy in. A stock purchase program will give employees more urgency in their jobs and will get them to care about the company because now they’re part owners. Of course there is some drawbacks, like for example it may become harder to get rid of an employee that has ownership. But if employees have ownership in a company then they feel more in tune with the company mission and in turn the company.
Boredom on the other hand is relatively easy to cure and is much cheaper than giving employees ownership. To cure boredom just make sure your employees have something to do. Speaking from experience employees become disengaged simply because they run out of tasks to do. However, they have to sit there for the mandatory 40 hrs a week regardless of whether or not they have something to do. If you can make sure that your employees have something to work on and have regular career check-ins (while making sure to give praise when possible) to keep engagement up.
In conclusion with diligence and a little bit of employee care you can get those employee engagement numbers up. Of course it is highly likely that if you have more engaged employees then you have a better function business. As common sense would tell us, a better functioning business will result in better revenues and more money in the business owner’s pocket.
DISCLAIMER: This is not business or financial advice. The post is strictly in my opinion. Any business or financial decisions should be made with the input of a consultant or business/financial advisory professional.