Paying for it: disengaged workers

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How much does your average employee earn? And how much of their time at work do they spend disengaged?

An employee who’s disengaged for 35 per cent of their work day is still getting 100 per cent of their wage, and recent studies show upwards of 70 per cent of workers described themselves as not fully engaged – and it can deeply effect the bottom line. Past studies from Towers Watson have shown that a 15 per cent increase in engagement correlates with a two per cent increase in operating margin.

A key step towards improving engagement is making sure everyone in the organization knows what’s happening and why. An AMA Enterprise survey of 300 managers and employees in the US revealed 36 per cent feel they don’t know what’s happening in their company. “In order for employees to be engaged in their work and be productive it’s essential they have a sense of inclusion and a grasp of what’s going on,” says Sandi Edwards, senior vice-president at AMA Enterprise. “Too often employees do not feel trusted or involved in decision making, or may not even know what the business strategy is. Many workers, according to the findings, feel excluded.”

Educate, Connect, Engage
 

  • A regular company-wide newsletter can help employees feel involved in the organization. If your employees don’t all access email at work, post the newsletter in the break room and on noticeboards.
     
  • Explain the goals of procedural changes when you implement them. Workers are more likely to embrace change if they know why it’s happening and what their role is.
     
  • Set realistic goals about talking to every employee frequently. Connect with them on a daily or weekly basis, beyond the standard morning greetings.

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