The statistics around employee engagement are startling. According to Gallup, for the past 10-20, around 45-50 percent of US Employees are disengaged, with a further 10-15 percent actively disengaged.
I use this graphic as a perfect example of what that really means and the impact that it is having on your business.
It means that if your business was a boat, nearly half the crew are just passengers, and half of the remainder are rowing in the opposite direction to the way that you want to go.
There are a lot of statistics about the benefit of having engaged employees, but just imaging if you have nearly everyone rowing in the right direction, this would double if not tipple the speed of your boat. And the impact of having engaged employees would be exactly the same on both the top and bottom lines of your business.
This is why employee engagement is the number one issue for businesses. And yet, too many focus on trying to build a faster boat or a better boat. But if you don’t do something about the crew, you’re not going to make any real difference to your situation.
Some companies are happy with the boat and decide they need to change the crew. While this can give a temporary boost as most new employees start as engaged, this can wear off pretty quickly.
The number one impact on employee engagement is the direct manager; according to Gallup, this accounts for up to 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement levels, and let’s not forget that up to 57% of employees that leave do so because of their direct manager.
The problem is not the boat nor the crew but, more often than not, the captain.
If you’re going to make a change to drive engagement, then work on changing the captain. Either replace them with someone who knows how to engage their teams or give them the training needed to increase the engagement themselves.
There are some simple things you can do that will have a dramatic effect on engagement, here are three to get you started.
Provide Clear Direction
It’s much easier to row in the right direction if you know which is the right direction. Too often, I see teams who are unclear on what is the right direction. Then either they sit and wait, or they pick a direction and start paddling themselves, and if it’s the wrong direction, they are now working against you.
Give Them Purpose
Don’t just point the way; explain to them why they need to row in this direction. If they understand why, the benefits that it will bring, and even better how they will benefit personally, they will be much more inclined to row, and possibly row harder.
Recognize Their Efforts
Giving recognition is one of the most potent ways to increase engagement. It has multiple benefits, first what gets recognized gets repeated; second, it reinforces what you are looking for from your teams; and third, it creates role models for others to follow. Recognition is literally the fuel that powers employee engagement.
Creating engaged teams is simple, but you need to know how to do it. Once you master this, you can quickly boost both the top and bottom-line growth of your business.
Written by Gordon Tredgold. Have you read?
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