Your workforce is not engaged at all and some employees are even actively disengaged, which means they are spreading negativity and aren’t afraid to let others know about their unhappiness.
When employee engagement is low it means your workforce are just going through the motions at work or even under performing; there is no enthusiasm or thought behind anything they do. They are simply there to do a job and then go home. You encounter lots of lateness, sickness and endless excuses. Your customers aren’t satisfied, your line managers have to work harder to get things done, your turnover levels are high and you are getting low ROI from your staff. If your staff produce poor work then you can expect poor results. In the long run this will end up costing you money.
Employee disengagement costs the UK £340bn every single year. If you want a more accurate measure of how much it is costing your business per year, use this employee attrition and disengagement calculator, simply entering your headcount and median annual salary.
How can you fix it?
You first need to find out why your employees are disengaged. There could be various reasons: unrealistic targets, no incentives, lack of respect, poor communication, tedious work, team troubles, lack of training, their voice is not being heard, not being appreciated, or lack of direction or purpose. A great way to find out is to send out surveys. It is a good idea to provide incentives for completing them as it is important to remember that employees who are not engaged are not likely to complete a survey for you.
You could have direct one-to-ones with staff to ask how they are getting on and if they have any problems or issues which they would like to raise. If you make these meetings casual and friendly then employees are more likely to confide in you and let you know what is bothering them. Once you’ve found the reason for their unhappiness and disengagement at work, you can begin to fix it.
- If your targets are never being met then clearly something is going wrong.
- Ask your staff what they think a realistic target would be.
- Set this as an initial target, and slowly increase it once the employee starts to hit it.
- It is best to focus on two or less targets at a time.
- Make sure you review targets every month to find out how they are doing.
- You expect your employees to put in 110%, but give no rewards in return for this effort.
- You could offer money incentives (big and small sums).
- Provide vouchers!
- Offer small prizes.
- Organise team days out.
- Offer an additional days holiday.
Lack of respect/not appreciated
- If you show no respect to employees they will show no respect for your business.
- To combat this you need to speak to staff as though they are on your level.
- Never be condescending, and never speak down to them.
- Always show your support, thank them for their work, and ask for advice. This demonstrates that you appreciate their opinion.
Poor Communication/their voice is not being heard
- Communication is key to human development yet so many businesses still struggle with it.
- To fix this you should check in with employees on a regular basis.
- Make documents and internal articles easily accessible for everyone.
- Use your internal communication platforms more efficiently. If you don’t have any, get some.
- Have a flat structure and an open door policy.
- Send out an internal newsletter.
- Have a weekly suggestions box and incorporate mobile technologies so that information is easily accessible inside and outside of work.
Fix the lack of training
- If you don’t invest in training it means your employees can’t grow, develop and further themselves within your business.
- Make sure you offer regular training sessions to employees, and ask if there are further skills which they would like to learn.
- If they keep asking you to do tasks which they can’t do, take the time to sit with them and teach them when you are not so busy.
- If there are tasks that you have to do for an employee because they don’t know how, take the time, when you are not so busy, to sit with them and teach them.
- Incorporate gamification to make learning easier and more fun.
Address lack of direction or purpose
- If an employee doesn’t know what they are working towards or what the purpose of their role is then it can be difficult for them to understand what they are really achieving.
- Keep them updated on the outcomes of their work and help them understand how their work is linked to the bigger picture.
- Announce when the company has successes and let them know how their work has contributed to those successes.
- Have regular review sessions with staff to tell them how they are doing and what they can do to achieve more.
If you follow the tips mentioned above you will slowly see engagement improve, this will not happen over night but it is a starting point towards increasing engagement and creating a workforce who care.