Best Ways to Increase Employee Engagement

One of the most surprising statistics we found out when conducting research was that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work, according to a study conducted by Gallup. This number was not far from another report that showed only 33 percent of employed residents in the United States are engaged at work.

Employee Engagement, Quality of Work, and Overall Value

So why should you be concerned about employee engagement? Engaged workers are more productive and bring much more value to your company than employees who perform their duties. These employees are more than willing to go the extra mile, work for longer hours, and genuinely have a closer connection for the company they work for. These are workers who will be a constant source of innovation and help propel your company forward.

This is in stark contrast to employees who are actively disengaged and are more likely to damage your company or planning to switch to another company. These employees are not only unhappy at work but are also bent out on showing their displeasure. They are precisely the opposite of engaged employees. They don’t care about their jobs but are more likely to drive customers away, be a constant concern of managers, and undermine the company’s goals and objectives.

There’s another type of employee, those who are disengaged or indifferent. Unlike actively disengaged employees, disengaged employees go about their jobs without displaying any negative or positive feelings toward the company. While firing actively disengaged employees is often the best route, improving the level of engagement of disengaged employees is the more preferred strategy.

Signs of a Disengaged Employee

With only 13 percent of all global employees engaged, this leaves a big majority, or 87 percent of all employees disengaged or, worse, actively disengaged. The first step in increasing employee engagement is first to identify who these under performing employees are. So how do you identify these employees? To determine which of your employees are disengaged, let’s take a look into the different signs of a disengaged employee.

Sign#1: Poor Work Quality

The employee can still be hitting their production or sales quota, but when the quality of work or product being produced drops low then this can be a sign of a disengaged employee. To be sure, this must be the result of a long term study of employee performance. Poor work quality can also be the result of fatigue or personal hardship. When this is observed, giving the employee temporary respite from work to recover is a great idea. However, this can be a sign of a disengaged employee. Especially when this happens at a progressing rate or becomes too often.

Sign#2 Dropping Productivity

Poor productivity numbers can be a sign that employees are becoming disengaged. Tasks can become too monotonous that going to work can be boring. But continually giving them new jobs is not the answer. This is not merely possible, especially for those working in the production line where they must perform the same task each day. A few ways to help improve engagement is to explain the importance of their functions to the company. Employees become more engaged when they can see the whole picture and understand how their jobs affect the work of others.

Sign#3 Employee Becomes Quiet

If an employee becomes quiet and starts showing signs of being withdrawn, this can be a sign of disengagement. They might be exhibiting signs that they are no longer interested in interacting with other employees because they don’t share the same enthusiasm as before. This could be more alarming if the employee were previously active.

Sign #4 Aggressive or Confrontational

Employees showing signs of aggressiveness can be a sign of disengagement. This can be completely the opposite of employees who suddenly become quiet. Whatever the difference, this can also be a sign of growing disengagement. When an employee starts to become confrontational, they are showing that they may no longer be interested in maintaining good working relationships.

Sign#5 Absent During Company Events and Gatherings

Company-sponsored events and gatherings are one of the ways management brings its people together. A disengaged employee does not feel obligated to share the same company values. This could be alarming if the employee was previously active during company events. Similar signs include an employee no longer spending time with co-workers during lunch and breaks. If this happens, try inviting them. If they continue to refuse, then this can be a sign of a disengaged employee.

Sign#6 Resistant to New Tasks and Challenges

Engaged employees actively seek new tasks and challenges. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, tend to shy away or totally reject any new tasks assigned to them. They are happy to go through the motions, clocking in at nine and leaving the office at five doing the same things every day. Engaged employees are excited about new responsibilities because they understand that this can be a stepping stone towards a promotion. A disengaged employee might already have one foot outside the door and care less about getting a promotion.

Sign#7 Absenteeism, Tardiness, and Frequent Leaves

If it seems that your employee is just so excited to leave or find themselves constantly hard to report to work on time, this can be a clear sign of disengagement. If this becomes a habit and they are constantly late even just for a few minutes, its now time to have that talk and ask if they are still interested in their job. Employees who report they are sick but looks healthy at work is another sign of a disengaged employee. When they seem to be piling up on those vacation and sick leaves, this can also be a sign that they are maximizing the full use of their benefits before leaving the company.

Benefits of Having Engaged Employees

Improving employee engagement in the workplace continues to be the main drive for many businesses and organizations. This is because they understand that having customers is often associated with highly engaged, happy employees. The culture of success begins with employees having the right set of attitudes.

The benefits of having engaged employees can’t be ignored. Increase productiveness, low turnover, better profits, and less absenteeism all translates to long-term, sustainable success.

Benefit#1 Increased Productivity

If there’s one major benefit of improved employee engagement that has a direct effect on the business, it is increased productivity. This is certainly worth considering when these efforts have a direct correlation with improving business profits. When employees feel that management is genuinely concerned with improving work conditions, this can lead to employees reciprocating by increasing productivity.

Benefit#2 Better Employee Satisfaction

A happy employee is a happy company. And when employees are satisfied, they are more than willing to put in the long hours to get the job done. Employees who lack enthusiasm hold the company back. Every single task becomes too laborious that these take too long to complete. Poor job satisfaction has a draining effect on the company’s resources.

Engaged employees feel a genuine connection with the company. They regard the company’s success as their success.

Benefit#3 Increased Profitability

Better profit margins are the direct effect of increased productivity. But this is more than improving production numbers; engaged employees are also able to do more with less. Profits are the result of better efficiency. Being able to produce more while reducing the cost of production results in better profitability.

Another way is to increase your customer base. Better products translate to more sales. Employees who are engaged are also more likely to interact with customers positively.

Benefit#4 Better Retention and Lower Turnover

Hiring and training new employees can be expensive. New employees may require training, which can be time-consuming. Engaged employees are less likely to leave the company. This is because they are generally satisfied with the working conditions. This goes beyond the amount of pay each employee gets. When employee happiness is based on salary, this can be losing cause for the company.

Benefit#5 Increase Loyalty

One way of improving employee engagement is to give them a purpose. When employees are given an insight into what the company is all about, they turn to be more loyal to the company. This makes it less likely to leave the company even for higher pay and are more enthusiastic in performing their job.

Tips on How to Improve Employee Engagement

Employee engagement, at its very core, can be correlated with employee morale. The benefits of employee engagement affect every corner of the business process. This makes employee engagement critical to the success of any business.

Tip#1 Give them a Voice

Employees become distant or disengaged because they feel that nobody cares about what they think, or nobody listens to them. Communication is the bloodline that keeps every member of the workforce and management connected. Without proper channels to address concerns, employees become dis-attached with management and the principles the company represents.

Tip#2 Give Them a Sense of Purpose

Employees who have a sense of belonging are more likely to be engaged. Giving your employees a sense of purpose can be done by conducting company-wide meetings or incorporating this during training. To keep your employees engaged, they must understand what the company is trying to achieve and how their task contributes to this.

Tip#3 Show Appreciation

There’s no need to be continually passing awards to show employees your appreciation. Verbal acknowledgment such as “job well-done” can go a long way in improving morale. Recognition gives them the motivation to perform their best at work constantly.

Tip#4 Build Better Relationships

Employees and management who work in harmony in the workplace are more productive. Building better relationships can be done through team building activities or asking managers to be more proactive in their roles as mentors to employees they handle. When you make connections, each member becomes engaged not only with the company but with each member of the team.

Tip#5 Transparency and Honesty

How management presents itself and how it deals with its employees has a direct effect on the people who work for the company. Transparency and honesty in how you communicate with employees create a trusting relationship. When employees feel that management has been fair in their interactions, they develop a higher sense of responsibility.

Engaged Employees – The Bottom Line

With more than 80 percent of the global working population disengaged, these people represent a huge potential for growth in the company. Tapping the potential for productivity is cheaper, quicker, and more comfortable compared to recruiting new employees. These people already have the experience, and technical know-how to fulfill and even exceed company expectations. Disengaged employees are uninspired and lack motivation, have little concern about productivity, or upholding the quality of the products and services they provide.

With a large majority of the global workers disengaged, most employees have a general negative sentiment about going to work. They have little or no energy and passion for their jobs. Engaged employees are critical to the success of any business or organization. They are the living and breathing component that can drive performance to the next level and crucial to sustainable, growth.

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