The 2016-2017 Gallup survey reported only 8% of UK employees are actively engaged in their work. What do we mean by actively engaged? These are the employees who are happy at work and therefore willing to go beyond what is expected of their position. They are the game changers of your workforce and will drive the success of your business. Of the rest, an enormous 19% of UK employees are actively disengaged. Dissatisfied and disillusioned, these employees do not meet the minimum requirements that their position needs and your business will suffer as a result. The remaining 73% sit in the middle, doing only what is needed to receive their salary, and without any passion.
At maxpotenti, we have helped many businesses with effective people solutions. From recruiting the right people for the right role to cultural overhauls, we apply our experience in people engagement to supply businesses with the fuel for sustainable growth. With that in mind, we want to share with you the importance of employee engagement, the signs of disengagement, and what can be done to get your people back on your team, working towards the same goal.
The Importance of Employee Engagement and Why We Miss the Mark
For some business owners, the proof of success sits in sales and profits. Why shouldn’t that be the case? If you are selling well and increasing profits, you can channel money into new projects and expand on existing ones, and isn’t that the route to business growth? Perhaps it is in theory; but where your employees are not engaged, or worse, actively disengaged, your workplace productivity and consequently your profits are bound to take a hit. Many businesses prioritise profits over people, but at maxpotenti we know these to be one and the same.
Imagine staying in a poorly run hotel. If you complained, you might be given a complimentary bottle of wine, a discount, or a free treatment in an equally poor spa. These are short term solutions which do not acknowledge the core problem and whilst you might be somewhat satisfied in the present, it is unlikely that you will return to the hotel. Many businesses take the same approach with their employees. They may offer a one-off buffet, a gift voucher, or flexi-time but the employer continues to neglect the individual’s real motivators and therefore loses their employees, physically or emotionally.
Signs of Employee Disengagement
The problem with disengagement is that it is infectious. It might begin with a single person dissatisfied in their work and soon that will spread to a whole team and transfer across your workforce. It is crucial that you can recognise changes in attitudes to work and act upon them. Some signs of employee disengagement include; a consistent drop in productivity levels, a high employee turnover, problems with punctuality and general sense of negativity amongst workers.
The Benefits of Actively Engaged Employees
Let’s think about the alternative. Let’s think about what you can achieve with an engaged and enthusiastic workforce. In short, the sky is the limit. With employees willing to go the extra mile for your business, productivity across every team can only increase. Workplace wellbeing and positivity will also increase which will simultaneously cross over to communication with your target audience who are then more willing to invest. The chain reaction that stems from engaged employees is as exciting as it is effective for exponential business growth.
How Can I Improve Employee Engagement?
It is quite the question and without a single answer. Ultimately, we must find the root of the problem. Employee engagement is a two-way process; we need to understand what our employees’ key motivators are, and they need to understand ours. For an employee, a key motivator may be the incentives of progression and training. For a business owner, the key motivator rests with the purpose for starting the business, the fundamental objective. Simon Sinek coined the expression, “start with why”. If we cannot define our why, how can we expect our employees to care about what they do day-to-day? In establishing this two-way process amongst existing and new employees, we can create a positive and proactive company culture, implement effective restructuring, retain talent and grow the business.
It’s true that there are plentiful people development consultants out there, promising the best of employee engagement. Here is what maxpotenti do differently; rather than focusing purely on the business owner, we conduct a company-wide online questionnaire. The data that we receive from this considers each individual in the workplace, which can be grouped into particular teams. We then drive one-to-one conversation with employees who are not actively engaged to understand their key motivators and what they need from the business or from their management in order to become engaged. With the guidance of your maxpotenti effective people advisor, you can then implement the necessary changes that will enable your employees to be excited about the work they do for you.
At maxpotenti, we have made it our mission to work with ambitious business owners in or associated with, the engineering and manufacturing sectors to create the environment in which engagement and can flourish - that requires a consideration of leadership styles and culture, as well as meeting the individual motivational needs of each employee. To learn more about how we can inspire sustained employee engagement in your workplace, get in touch with maxpotenti today.