JoshTolan | ,| By
As you look around at your workforce, it’s likely only about a third of your employees are actually engaged in their roles. According to a survey by Towers Watson, most of your workforce has either detached or completely disengaged from their positions. A further 22 percent feel unsupported by your company.
Obviously, employee engagement is important to a well-oiled and highly functioning company. A recent Gallup survey showed not even the poor economy has impacted the relative importance of engagement on organizational outcomes. Especially when times are tough, employee engagement can give companies an advantage over their competition.
Employee engagement is essential to success, yet most of your workforce is feeling less than rosy about your company and their career prospects. How do you flip the script? How do you re-engage your employees watching the clock until they can punch out? Here are a few simple ways to turn the tide and re-engage your workers:
Overhaul your company culture
Your company culture is an important building block for employee engagement. When looking for great candidates to fill open positions, an attractive company culture can help you nab the talent you need. Whether you’re interviewing someone in person or through online video, you can use the perks of a great company culture to entice smart people to make the leap to your organization.
I’ve talked before about how to save a negative company culture and rebuild your organizational brand. It’s surprisingly easy for your company culture to take a nosedive while you’re focused on other things.
If more than half of your workforce is disengaged, the quickest way to turn things around starts with overhauling your culture. Overhauling doesn’t mean adding a few additional perks and calling it a day. That would be like slapping a fresh coat of paint on a dilapidated house and being surprised there are still no buyers. You need to work on the inside of the house as well.
Look at your workforce and evaluate what’s important to a majority of your workers. Is it additional opportunities? Are your workers looking for outside-the-box perks like a nap room and free lunches? Perhaps they’re just looking for a better work-life balance, in which case all the nap rooms in the world won’t help, but offering telecommuting days might.
The first step to re-engage your workforce involves…re-engaging with your workforce. You can’t offer the attractive company culture your organization dreams of if you don’t understand your employees on a basic level.
Offer professional development
It’s surprisingly easy to feel stagnated, even in the best company culture. According to the survey from Towers Watson, less than half of surveyed employees felt management was developing the company’s future leadership. Yet the chance for professional development is one of the best ways to retain talent.
The same study found career advancement opportunities were the number two reason employees stick around, trailing only salary in importance. If you don’t think professional development is important, your company is probably bleeding the best people as they disengage and look for opportunity elsewhere.
Your best workers are also the people most likely to abhor feeling complacent. These are the people who want a career, not a job. If you offer educational opportunities and chances to grow, you’ll be able to re-engage workers who have grown tired of the status quo. Remember that for the best workers, learning is a never ending process.
Give (or take away) responsibilities
Two of the biggest reasons employees disengage are stress and boredom. These reasons for disengagement sit on opposite sides of the spectrum, but the outcome is the same: an employee looking for the exit sign.
In fact, less than half of those surveyed in the Towers Watson study said their workplace provided an adequate work-life balance. And only 53 percent of workers said their stress levels were manageable.
If you see employees struggling, either to complete work or to find it, switch around responsibilities and juggle projects. If you have a creative superstar so bogged down with busy work they don’t have time to dream, clear a bit of the rubble off their plate.
Likewise, if you have a smart employee bored and looking for a challenge, let them show you what they’re made of with a big project. Remember why these smart employees wowed you back in the video interview, and play to their strengths.
If you think your workforce is disengaged, don’t despair. There are always ways to re-engage your workers. Change up your company culture, focus on work-life balance, and offer opportunities for growth to reinvigorate employees and get your company back on track.
How do you re-engage your workforce?
What are some ways you can re-engage your workforce? Share in the comments!