rom “shocking” to “disturbing,” the headlines paint a pretty dismal picture of employee engagement levels in today’s organizations. Study after study turns up numbers in the range of 70 to 80 percent of the workforce that’s either not fully engaged or actively disengaged at work, costing companies billions in annual turnover.
On the flip side, there are just as many stats pointing to the clear productivity and revenue benefits engaged employees bring to the organization. No wonder survey respondents in Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Capital Trends Report said “retention and engagement” is their number two human capital priority “ and challenge “ just behind “leadership.
But consider the number of employees who leave or are actively looking every year, in bad economic times and good. Even with all the talk about engagement, disengagement rates persist, especially as the “do more with less” mentality has piled on more responsibilities and tasks, whether or not they have anything to do with what the person does best.
The impact isn’t just on the individual; the organization loses out in multiple ways. The most obvious is the lost productivity and discretionary effort of those who are doing just what they have to do to get by.
Actively disengaged employees can also have a negative influence on other employees and push customers away. Turnover, quality, safety, profitability, the list of costs goes on and on.
How to Improve Employee Engagement
By understanding the impact of thinking “ their own as well as their employees’ “ on interests, behaviors, communications and work approaches, leaders will be able to better connect with their employees, build their confidence and trust, and provide them the opportunities to put their talents to work. Your managers and leaders hold the key to unlocking employee engagement.
They need to:
- Know their employees “ their preferences, skills, expectations and job needs
- Be able to communicate effectively with diverse employees
- Recognize and align employee strengths, talents and needs with the organization’s objectives
- Understand what motivates individual employees and how to encourage their best thinking
There’s no one-size-fits-all management approach to engaging and inspiring employees, but Whole Brain® Thinking gives leaders practical tools to diagnose and adjust their approaches as necessary. It makes it easy for them to:
- See past their own preferences and assumptions
- Understand the mental requirements of work assignments, and align people as closely as possible with the work they do best
- Help people use their thinking preferences in service of the work that needs to be done, even when it requires them to stretch
- Keep the lines of communication open so employee engagement becomes a daily focus, not a stop-gap, crisis management issue
As economic conditions improve, employees will have new opportunities to pursue other employment, and your most talented people will be the most attractive targets to organizations looking to strengthen their teams.
Now is the time to develop leaders and managers who see engagement as a critical business priority, not just a hot topic for discussion. And now is the time to develop leaders who have the thinking agility to personalize engagement and leverage the best of those around them.
Want to Improve Employee Engagement?
See how Whole Brain® Manager can help you improve employee engagement on the front lines
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