Employee disengagement is a problem that plagues organisations of all sizes. According to Gallup, 60% of the world's workers are emotionally detached at work and 19% are miserable.
Another study, conducted by the UK-based think tank New Economics Foundation, found that just 13 percent of workers worldwide are "engaged" with their jobs. That means they feel like their work is meaningful and that they have the opportunity to improve their skills.
Meanwhile, 63 percent of workers are "disengaged," meaning they're going through the motions but not connecting with their work. And 24 percent are "actively disengaged," which means they're actively hostile or negative about their jobs.
The workplace has undergone enormous changes in the past few decades. Back then, men held most of the jobs and women were mostly stay-at-home moms. Unions were powerful, retirement was secure and jobs were for life.
Today, women make up almost half of the workforce and are the primary breadwinners in many families. Unions are waning in power and retirement is far from guaranteed as jobs are often temporary.
These changes have brought tremendous stress to the workplace. And while some of this stress is unavoidable, much of it is the result of poor management.
Managers are under more pressure than ever to do more with less. They're expected to produce results with fewer resources and fewer employees. And they're often rewarded for meeting short-term goals, regardless of the long-term consequences.
All this pressure trickles down to employees, who feel the need to work longer hours, take on extra assignments, and put in overtime. They're afraid to take time off, even when they're sick.
The result is a tired workforce, stressed and disengaged. And it's taking a toll on both the individual and the organisation. Disengaged employees lead to low productivity, higher turnover, absenteeism, and conflict. Additionally, disengaged employees are often less creative and innovative, and more likely to make mistakes.
So what can leaders do to address it?
The ability of an organisation's leaders and managers to drive people and keep them committed is crucial. Organisational leaders and managers need to keep a pulse on how everyone is doing. Here are some ways to keep employees in check:
1. Conduct regular check-ins with employees
Conducting regular check-ins with employees is one of the most effective ways to ensure that everyone is on the same page and aware of company goals. This can help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication, as well as ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives.
Regular check-ins can also help managers and employees form positive relationships in which they feel like they have supportive management. It also gives leaders and managers a chance to offer feedback and guidance and can help to identify problems early on, so that they can be addressed before they become serious. In today's fast-paced business culture, having supportive management is crucial to help employees feel cared for.
Amazon regularly conducts check-ins with employees. It uses a process called "daily stand-ups" to keep everyone on track. During these stand-ups, each team member reports on what they accomplished the day before and what they plan to do that day. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and aware of deadlines. Additionally, it allows for quick problem solving if someone is struggling with a task. As a result of these regular check-ins, Amazon has been able to maintain its position as one of the most successful online retailers.
While check-ins may seem like a small thing, they can make a big difference in the overall success of a company which can lead to increased productivity and fewer misunderstandings. As a result, organisations that conduct regular check-ins are more likely to be successful in retaining valued employees and talent. Therefore, check-ins are a simple but effective way to improve the overall organisational experience
2. Ask employees for feedback
Employee feedback is essential for leaders to understand what is working well and what could be improved. Employees can offer valuable insights into the organisation, and their feedback should be taken seriously. It is important to make sure that employees feel like their voices are being heard and that their feedback is valued. Leaders should create a safe and open environment where employees feel comfortable giving honest feedback.
Organisational leaders and managers are increasingly asking employees for feedback to improve organisational experience. For example, a recent study by the Harvard Business Review found that 68 percent of organisations worldwide now solicit employee feedback regularly.
One notable example of an organisation that has successfully implemented employee feedback is Google. The tech giant has a long history of using feedback to improve its products and services. The organisation has a dedicated team of engineers whose sole purpose is to collect and act on employee feedback. Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are all known for their strong culture of feedback. These organisations have all realised that employees are one of the best sources of information about how to improve an organisation.
Soliciting feedback from employees is a smart way to improve the overall organisational experience and affirm that their voice matters. Additionally, it can help build trust in their leaders and foster a more positive work environment.
3. Encourage open communication and collaboration
Organisational leaders and managers are increasingly encouraging open communication within their organisations. Cross-organisation collaboration and communication are becoming more commonplace as the business world globalises.
There are many organisations where leaders are engaging with their employees and creating an environment that encourages open communication and collaboration.
One such organisation that encourages open communication and collaboration is Southwest Airlines. It has a long history of open communication with its employees, and this has helped it avoid some of the pitfalls that have plagued other airlines. For example, when Southwest was faced with a pilot shortage in 2017, it held an open meeting to discuss the issue with its employees. This helped to foster a sense of trust and cooperation among the workforce and ultimately led to a successful resolution of the pilot shortage.
Other organisations are also beginning to see the benefits of open communication and collaboration, and are implementing similar policies. For example, Facebook has implemented a “Hackathons” programme where employees are encouraged to work together to solve problems. This has helped to create a more collaborative and innovative culture within the organisation which in turn has helped them retain its top talent.
Open communication and collaboration can be an important tool for organisations to improve employee performance and build a stronger workplace culture. By encouraging employees to voice their opinions and concerns, organisations may create a more positive work culture, as well as capitalise on the collective knowledge of their workforce.
Open communication and collaboration are not only beneficial for employees, but also for organisations as a whole. It can help to improve morale, increase productivity, and attract top talent. Therefore, it is something that all organisations should strive to foster in the workplace.
Organisational leaders and managers play a vital role in driving a positive overall organisational experience. By conducting regular check-ins with employees, asking for feedback, and encouraging open communication and collaboration, leaders can create a more positive and productive work environment.
How would your employees respond if you were to ask them “How has your experience been so far with our organisation?” Would they tell you that they feel valued by their management? That their voices are heard? Or would they share with you their frustrations – about how disengaged they feel in their roles, and how this is impacting their work?
If it’s the latter, then you have a problem on your hands. Employee disengagement is a real issue in workplaces today and one that leaders need to be aware of.
Building on Deloitte’s Simply Irresistible Organisation model, our research-based diagnostic Real®Organisational Experience Assessment can help your organisation gain insight into its current state and take pre-emptive steps to create an overall positive organisational experience.
Find out more about a positive employee experience by contacting us at email@example.com.
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