You might answer “very” without hesitation. But, unfortunately, as a leading staffing agency, we know that studies show that most of today’s workers would disagree.
In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll (October 2011), 71% of American workers reported being “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work. In other words, they felt emotionally disconnected from their workplaces. On the flip side, that also means that less than a third of all workers feel engaged or enthusiastic and passionate about their work.
So why is engagement so important?
According to a Harvard Business Review study, workers who reported feeling engaged display better overall performance as reported by their supervisors. Likewise, engaged employees were 46% more satisfied in their jobs and 32% more committed to their employers.
So if you think your employees are less than “actively engaged” in their jobs, what can you do to turn things around?
Here are some suggestions:
Get employees more involved.
Many of today’s workers feel like their opinions don’t really matter and that they’re just another cog in the wheel…which can quickly lead to disengagement. To avoid this, encourage employee ownership and feedback. Give them more autonomy in their jobs and ask for their opinions and input. You can even take this a step further and create a formal rewards program that invites employees to submit ideas for how to improve sales, cut costs, or streamline production.
When you offer praise to an employee for a job well done, or a tangible reward for an important milestone achieved, you’re not only showing your gratitude, you’re also motivating your employees and improving loyalty in the process.
Lead by example.
If you say one thing (e.g. you want to hear employees’ opinions on a certain matter), and do another (e.g. don’t ever ask for or create opportunities for said opinions to be voiced), then you might actually speed up disengagement. So practice what you preach. If you don’t, then you’ll lose credibility in the eyes of your employees.
As a leading staffing agency, we know that getting your employees more engaged takes time and effort…but it’s an investment that’s well worth it. Not only can it improve loyalty to the company among employees, it can also have a significantly positive impact on your bottom line.