Disengaged Employees Are Costly to Ignore

In case you haven’t heard, the latest statistics on employee engagement in the U.S. are less than stellar. Gallup recently conducted a study that delivers some hard-to-swallow news for HR folks everywhere. Engagement levels among U.S. workers remains a meager 30%, meaning seven out of ten people are either “checked out” at work, or even actively hostile toward their employers. Furthermore, the estimated cost of disengagement to the overall economy is $450 billion to $550 billion per year. For individual businesses, that cost can be reflected in high employee turnover rates and low productivity.circlepeople

It doesn’t have to be all bad news, though. Simply identifying that there’s such a wide margin for improvement provides us with an amazing opportunity to enhance our workplaces.  So goes the old saying, “Knowing is half the battle”.

In her recent HBR article, Susan David regards employee disengagement as a call-to-positive-action more than anything else. It’s a valuable read for anyone interested in building a better workplace. David highlights that although addressing engagement is neither simple nor straightforward, “leaders must do so, for the sake of not only their employees but also their companies.”

Below are four helpful “pointers” she offers:

  1. Understand the basics of positive psychology and engagement research.
  2. Find out what engages your employees, not someone else’s.
  3. Encourage grassroots engagement.
  4. Recognize engagement as a moving target, and check back often.

For many of us in the HR world, knowing exactly where and how to allocate the right resources to improve employee engagement can feel like a daunting task. Take the first step by reading the full article here.

Helene Wiswall
Helene Wiswall
Organizational Development Consultant at ModernThink