Yikes! Employee Engagement Levels Dangerously Low

graphic that says yikes! employee engagement levels dangerously low

A recent Employee Engagement Report issued by global consultants BlessingWhite, shows that worldwide engagement levels are at an all time low with only 1 out of 3 employees reporting being fully engaged at work and 17% of all employees reporting they are completely disengaged. OUCH!

For all of you reading this article that expect your people to hit those revenue goals this year, grow your new line or business or move the company in a new direction ~ NOW is the time to simply STOP, LOOK  and LISTEN.

STOP. Assess how often you check-in with your employees to provide them feedback on their performance, their team contribution or service delivery attitude. How can you do better? Consider the next available opportunity to ask employees their opinion on how to improve something that’s been done the same way for years. Bring this conversation up in your next staff meeting.

Management by walking around (MBWA) is not dead. As a matter of fact it’s desperately needed to establish stronger, more trusting relationships with employees. Based on the survey results from BlessingWhite, it’s just as important for Executives to do as it is for Managers.

LOOK. Take a look around at your next team meeting ~ are the same people always contributing? When’s the last time someone came up with something truly innovative? Create a team environment where everyone feels comfortable speaking up. This might require new tactics for gathering feedback such as sending out an email ahead of time and asking for input prior to the meeting. You might also consider more brainstorming in your staff meeting using sticky notes where everyone throws their ideas up on a flip chart.

Look at what is being recognized in your company. Do the behaviors and experiences you’re recognizing align with your long-term goals and strategies for the business? Ask your employees what they believe gets recognized at your company. The answers might shock you.

LISTEN. The simplest way to figure out if your employees are engaged and committed to the vision and success of your company is to listen to them.  What are they saying about your company? What do they tell new hires about what it’s like to work for your company?  If you don’t know, send out an all-employee email with one question ~ What 3 words would you use to describe our company to others? This is how you find out if you have a reputation in the industry that is attracting the best and brightest or scaring them away.

Addressing employee engagement levels can’t be done through surveys and training. It’s about something much deeper. It has to be a focused internal makeover of your organization. A fundamental shift in mindset across the company. One example is to begin defining the behaviors that encourage participation and collaboration in your company and make sure they are taking place on a daily basis at all levels. This is what builds a foundation of trust — the single most important factor impacting employee engagement levels.

It may mean a major cultural shift for many organizations that have traditionally used a “top down” approach but if retention, expense reduction, customer satisfaction, succession planning and employee commitment levels mean anything to you and your business ~ then its time to STOP. LOOK. LISTEN.

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