6 Things Your Employees Wish You Knew About Engagement

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businessman in anger screaming puff going out from ears Yes, it’s another employee engagement post. With all of this heightened awareness about employee engagement and what it can do in organizations, you’d think the stat, 4 out of 10 workers are disengaged, would be a more promising number. In a Gallup poll on the State of the American Workplace, we also learn that 70 percent of workers do not enjoy their job.

These shameful numbers mean that a majority of the workforce is disconnected, less productive and unfulfilled at work. White gloves get muddy; mud doesn’t get glovey. Make any sense? A negative attitude can be far more contagious than a positive one. Disengagement is a workplace issue that affects everyone, even those who are satisfied at work. Here are a several things your workforce wishes you knew about employee engagement.

1) Engaged isn’t Synonymous with Happy

If they’re happy, what’s the problem? The problem is that a happy employee is not the same as a hard-working employee and neither of those are the same as an engaged employee. Happy employees are great to have in an office, but when everyone around them realizes that they are actually a subpar worker who consistently holds the team back, it’s frustrating.

2) It Doesn’t Just Happen

That’s a pen, not a magic wand. Employee engagement happens with a thoughtful, strategic plan. Awareness isn’t enough. Research companies like your own that have successfully increased their employee engagement numbers. Look within your industry and keep it around the same size. Find out what worked for them and give it a shot.

3) Employee Engagement Affects Vital Business Outcomes

Those employees who are satisfied and are engaged have to deal with the negative effects of all of those disengaged employees around them. Business outcomes like high turnover, low productivity and absenteeism are all issues that they then have to combat. That bottom line that is negatively affected by a disengaged workforce is placed on everyone’s shoulders.

4) R-E-S-P-E-C-T

They want you to drop the, “I can do that job, only better” attitude. It’s demoralizing and it devalues them. Furthermore, it’s usually not true. Even if you did start off doing that job, odds are that the standards, tools or trends have changed. Knock it off and show your teammates some respect for their craft.

5) Would You Want to Work for You?

Take a second and think about that question. Do you walk around with a negative inner dialogue about your team members and foolishly think they don’t know how you really feel? They do. Just because you aren’t telling them about those evil little thoughts, doesn’t mean you aren’t conveying them in every other manner possible. Bad bosses are the number one reason for disengagement at work.

6) Hey, It’s Dark in Here… All the Time!

Employees hate being left in the dark. Why are we doing this? What’s the end goal? Are you satisfied with what’s been happening so far? They want to know what’s happening, where the company is going and how they can be a part of getting there. It’s not up to employees to seek out these answers because half the time, they don’t even know the questions. It’s up to leaders to provide the information, path and guidance.

Engagement from the employee’s perspective can reveal some issues that leaders may not have anticipated. Employees have to go to work; there’s no getting around it, but they don’t necessarily have stay where they are. Disengaged employees will either leave, or take down their team by staying; neither are good for the company. Turn disengagement around today.

By Maren Hogan