Here’s something we all know in general: disengaged employees negatively affect the workplace across all different types of industries. But how bad is it really?
Employees who are disengaged are putting in time at their jobs, but lack passion and motivation. Approximately 52 percent of U.S. workers are present, but not engaged or inspired at work which causes businesses to lose money and even fail. For instance, a poll by Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost companies $450-$550 billion in lost productivity per year. Luckily, an organization’s culture and employee collaboration can help keep employees engaged and improve productivity.
Invest in Employee Engagement
Companies are currently spending $720 million annually on employee engagement programs which is expected to increase rapidly to about $1.5 billion in the next 10 years. Businesses are finding that engaged employees are 38 percent more likely to have above average productivity. These companies also receive 2.5 times more revenue growth than places with fewer engaged employees. In fact, if a business increases their employee engagement budget by just 10 percent it can increase the profits by $2,400 per employee each year.
Employees who work in a positive environment with a company who expresses similar values to their own are more likely to be engaged at work. A company’s culture is not always defined, because it develops over time from the different traits of employees hired. Ninety-two percent of CEOs believe improving the corporate culture would improve the value of the company, because they believe the culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability and growth rates. An example of creating better company culture is reducing the level of workplace stress. This can contribute to happier employees and less absenteeism which is to blame for 26 percent of health-related lost productivity.
In many cases, an employee’s number one reason for going the extra mile is their peers and camaraderie. Teamwork and collaboration are very important in keeping employees engaged at work. Around 39 percent of employees said others in their organization don’t collaborate enough which leads to ineffective communication and workplace failures. Most employees and executives agree that a lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of the project or task.
Benefits of Engagement
There are many benefits to having employees who feel connected to their work. Organizations that report an above average employee engagement rate are 70 percent more likely to be successful than companies that report lower engagement numbers. Businesses also report having a 22 percent higher productivity rate. Engaged employees are safer employees resulting in 48 percent fewer safety accidents and 41 percent fewer work quality incidents.
Real World Examples
At the MD Anderson Cancer Center, mentoring is an important step in keeping employees engaged. Their formal mentoring programs help employees develop professional goals and connect with colleagues showing their commitment to the staff’s future growth. DHL Express uses rewards and acknowledgement to keep employees engaged. They thank employees through monetary rewards, honoring top performers at company events and posting notes of appreciation to bulletin boards. (Of course, financial incentives aren’t a magic bullet.)
To learn more about how engaged employees can benefit your organization check out the infographic below from Villanova University’s Online Master of Business Administration program.
Alyson Iuchs has been in leadership and management positions in multiple industries including hospitality tourism, journalism and sports media. Her passion revolves around reading, writing novels and adventure. Her favorite quote to live by is “The things you’re afraid of are usually the most worthwhile.