Everyone has read an article about The Great Resignation, like this one on NPR, but what does this mean for business owners? We should be learning from this moment and the biggest takeaway should be the importance of employee engagement.
Disengaged employees are less productive, less happy, and less likely to help improve your business. They don’t just underperform, but they can distract other employees and overall affect morale. Employee engagement is important for not only retaining employees but hiring the best prospects as well.
In order to keep your employees engaged, it is important to first understand what engagement means. According to Merriam-Webster, engagement is “a state of being mentally or emotionally absorbed in something.” In other words, engagement means that your employees are fully focused on completing their tasks. It’s not up to employees to keep themselves engaged, you need to be fostering an engaging environment.
We wish it was a simple and easy task, but this is an ongoing process. The following paragraphs are a step-by-step guide on how to identify what is causing disengagement, address it, and work to keep employees happy and engaged long-term.
Understand what disengaged employees are costing your business
Disengaged employees are often compared to zombies: they show up to work, but they’re not really alive. They’re going through the motions, but they’re not really invested in their jobs. And just like zombies, disengaged employees can be dangerous to your business.
They cost companies billions of dollars each year in lost productivity, and their negative attitude can infect other employees, spreading like a virus. The good news is that there is a cure for employee disengagement: engagement.
Engaged employees are passionate about their work and committed to their company’s success. They’re also more productive and more likely to stay with their company long-term. So if you want to protect your business from the dangers of disengagement, make sure you engage your employees.
Identify the signs that an employee is disengaged
Disengaged employees are often hard to spot. They may not be outwardly hostile or disruptive, but they lack the enthusiasm and motivation that are essential for success in any organization. Here are some signs that an employee is disengaged:
1. They require less supervision than usual and seem to be going through the motions without much enthusiasm.
2. They take more breaks than other employees or seem to be frequently surfing the internet or social media during work hours.
3. They make more mistakes than usual or have a higher error rate on projects.
4. They complain more often about their work, their colleagues, or their boss.
5. They seem less engaged in team meetings or company events.
Once you identify team members who seem to be lacking in enthusiasm, next you need to work to address the root cause.
Address the root causes of disengagement
If you’re looking to engage your employees, you need to address what is causing the disengagement. Employees become disengaged for a variety of reasons, but often it boils down to feeling like their work isn’t meaningful or that their voices aren’t being heard.
To engage employees, managers need to make sure that everyone feels like they’re part of the team and that their work is valuable. When employees feel appreciated and valued, they’re more likely to be engaged in their work and invested in the company’s success. By addressing the root causes of disengagement, managers can create a more engaged and productive workforce.
Implement strategies to reengage employees
A common issue is that companies face disengaged employees. This can result in a decrease in productivity and an increase in absenteeism. There are several strategies that companies can use to reengage employees.
One way is to provide opportunities for employee empowerment. This could involve giving employees more autonomy in their work or empowering them to make decisions.
Another strategy is to focus on communication. This could involve ensuring that there is two-way communication between employees and managers. Open and consistent communication amongst your team will help bring everyone together.
Finally, companies can focus on creating a positive work environment. This could involve promoting a healthy work-life balance, offering perks and benefits, and ensuring that employees feel safe and valued at work. By using these strategies, companies can help to create an environment that is engaging for their employees.
Evaluate the results and make necessary adjustments to keep employees engaged
Engaging employees takes continuous work, but it’s well worth the professional development. You’ll need to work on these employee engagement strategies over time to help keep employees highly engaged.
You might need to make adjustments or change your systems. In the process of trying to keep your employees engaged, you might find other areas of improvement. For example, if you realize an underlying issue is that someone just isn’t enjoying their job, maybe you can find other tasks for them. Sometimes it’s not that you need new employees, but it’s just that you’re not
Celebrate successes and learn from failures
The purpose of working on these things is to help improve your business, so celebrate those improvements. Make sure you are recognizing and celebrating employees in a way that they will fully appreciate. Some people prefer private acknowledgment, while others like more public displays of gratitude. Spend time learning what your employees like so you can maximize effectiveness.
If things don’t work out as planned, that’s okay, but learn from it. It’s also a lot easier to give up after a failure, but if you learn from it and try something else it might work out better. Success comes from overcoming failure, not ignoring it.
It’s not only good for the morale of your team, but it can also have a positive impact on your bottom line. Disengaged employees are costing businesses billions of dollars every year, don’t let your business add to that. If you’re looking for more information or want help implementing these strategies then reach out to our team.