In 2017, it seems like everyone is talking about the power of Employee Engagement – and there’s good reason to do so. When your employees are engaged, your organization can achieve results you never thought possible. I won’t bore you with the statistics now (that will come later), but suffice it to say that study after study has found engaged employees lead to safer, more profitable workplaces.
What you don’t hear so much about is what happens when your employees are disengaged. The impact is just as great as having an engaged team, but the consequences can be – and often are – devastating. In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at the cost of disengaged employees, how you can identify who they are, and – most importantly -- how you can help them.
Let’s get started!
Cost of Disengagement in the Workplace
The cost of disengagement in the workplace is quite severe. Companies with low levels of engagement, when compared to those with high levels of engagement, experience 70% more safety incidents and produce products with 40% more defects. Of course, the cost of disengagement affects areas outside of safety and quality as well.
According to Gallup, disengaged employees contribute greatly to slowing economic growth. Each year, it’s estimated that disengaged workers are costing U.S. companies over $500 billion in lost productivity. On a local level, it’s been found that disengaged employees cost their employers as much as 20% in sales and reduce profitability by as much as 21%.
If you want your company – and the economy – to thrive, this must come to an end.
Identifying the Disengaged
In order to fix disengagement issues, you have to first be able to identify when employees become disengaged. The following warning signs should serve as pretty good indicators. Just remember, disengagement shows itself in a number of ways, so trust your gut!
- Warning Sign #1: Employee Is Negative
We’ve all been known to complain from time to time, but when you notice an employee is consistently negative, there’s a problem. Often times, it’s because they’re disengaged in the workplace. You’ll want to address this early on – negativity has a way of quickly spreading. One bad apple…
- Warning Sign #2: Customers Complain
This is a big one. Yes, some customers are so entitled they would complain if you handed them a free $100 bill, but often times their complaints are valid. So, if customer reviews contain low ratings, there could be a disengaged employee at the other end.
- Warning Sign #3: Employee Is Irresponsible
A major sign of disengagement comes in the form of irresponsibility. Is an employee frequently late for work or returning from breaks? Do they routinely miss deadlines? Do they always have an excuse for their actions? Then you’re dealing with a disengaged employee.
- Warning Sign #4: Employee Lacks Enthusiasm, Initiative
When employees are engaged, new projects create a sense of excitement. They actually look forward to the task at hand and take initiative to ensure the project’s success. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, begrudgingly work on the project and often have to be told exactly what to do. Engaged employees don’t need you to hold their hand – they’re leading the charge!
- Warning Sign #5: Employee Doesn’t Communicate
When an employee doesn’t communicate with their team/members of management, there is normally an underlying issue. Often times, this can be due to a feeling of distrust the manager doesn’t even know exists. The engaged employee acts much differently – he or she often communicates their concerns and ideas to management, leading to improvement, innovation, and growth!
How to Help the Disengaged Employee
Now that we know what to look for, let’s talk about what we can do to help end disengagement. The absolute best thing your company can do to help employees is to create a meaningful Culture of Engagement. In addition to assisting with the identification and correction of disengagement, it helps prevent employees from becoming disengaged in the first place.
Let’s take a look at a few rules that can help make this a reality:
- Rule # 1: Create a culture of recognition that resonates through all aspects of your organization. Incorporate formal, informal & day-to-day recognition into the strategic recognition platform.
- Rule #2: Empower employees to develop new skills to advance their careers. Reward those employees who use those opportunities to learn and improve.
- Rule #3: Consistently communicate and live your organization’s values & vision. Recognize those employees who impact the quality of the organization’s work, products, and services.
These tips are great, but they really just scratch the surface. To learn more ways to create a Culture of Engagement, check out our complimentary Wall Chart, “The 7 New Rules of Employee Engagement.” If you’re really looking to jump start your engagement efforts or have a specific question about how C.A. Short Company can help in your efforts, be sure to reach out.
We’d love to chat!
C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior. To Request a Complimentary Consultation, click here.