Building an engaged workforce is high on the agenda for many HR leaders and companies attempting to drive organizational productivity and efficiency. There are many processes in place that aim to tackle this issue, from surveys to reward recognition schemes, with the end goal of giving employees a compelling reason to stay in their job.
However, with statistics revealing that an astounding 87 percent of employees worldwide are still not engaged, it is clear that organizations need to rethink their approach to captivating them. Although it’s apparent many are already taking steps toward improving employee engagement, the question is, are they making it a priority?
We need a new approach. Building a strong workforce starts with taking the focus off the disengaged employees, who are taking too much convincing to stay, and instead focusing on engaged employees, who hold the key to a plethora of business benefits.
Dealing with disengaged employees can be challenging. You don’t want your employees to be unhappy or disengaged; however, the cost of a disengaged employee can hinder the success of any organization. In truth, the second an employee becomes disengaged, he or she has already mentally departed. With disengaged employees’ ability to disrupt and decrease the morale of the engaged, they can have a negative effect on the workplace.
While, engaged workers can help the business grow by remaining innovative and meeting targets, many companies tend to focus on re-engaging the disengaged, creating learning opportunities and developing specialized programs in the name of boosting morale and reducing absenteeism. The majority of HR and business leaders believe that employees will be more engaged if they do more to create a better employee experience, support employees in their well-being and career paths, and provide better managerial support.
In reality, the opposite is true. People leave jobs due to numerous factors, and a recent study by Gallup revealed that 63 percent of employees believe that if they were laid off, they could easily find a job as good as the one they have. The fact that employees are more than willing to walk out of their workplace highlights that they are less committed not only to their job but to the company itself, too. If companies’ efforts to offer perks such as great pay, great benefits or great training still fail to engage employees, it might not be the organization itself that has the problem.
Organizations should, therefore, take a step back and ask themselves: What’s the cost of keeping workers who aren’t committed? Take into account how these individuals can harm the business in terms of productivity, customer dissatisfaction and even the bottom line. In light of Gallup’s estimate that a disengaged employee can cost about 34 percent of a person’s salary in lost productivity, the cost isn’t worth trying to keep them, let alone convincing them to become committed.
You can’t overstate the importance of an engaged employee, and the data doesn’t lie. According to Gallup’s 2016 “Q12 Meta-Analysis” report, companies with high employee engagement “increase their odds for above-average success across business/work units … by 2.1 times.” The companies that encourage and support their engaged employees are the ones that do better overall. Companies need to take the productivity burden off of their engaged employees by surrounding them with like-minded individuals.
With a survey by Maverick estimating that investing 10 percent more in engagement strategies can increase profits by £2,700 ($3,544) per employee per year, it is imperative that companies replicate employee engagement at scale. By gathering data about their engaged employees, companies can help dig out who these individuals are and not only begin to understand them but also use this information to hire and retain more people like them.
Who to Keep?
Leave your disengaged employees in the past, and focus on tracking engaged employees instead; it is these individuals who will help enhance company culture and profit. Capture HR data using a number of tools, from pulse surveys to manager and coaching tools. This type of workforce analytics is the key to unlocking the engaged employees organizations have been searching for.
HR data that measure engagement make identifying engaged employees easier. By looking at who is meeting or exceeding their targets, companies can help manage headcount and reduce churn. Retention will always remain central to this process, and focusing on employees who are productive and efficient can eliminate the potential expense of recruiting, onboarding and training new employees.
Not only can you capitalize on these insights to support current employees, but you can also use them to identify people with similar traits in the hiring process. Find people who are passionate about their work, because passion is infectious. The more that companies focus on creating an engaged work culture, made up of managers who foster an engaged work environment, the better the talent pipeline will look as will a company’s reputation. Engagement is a symptom of success and should, therefore, remain a top priority for all organizations.