We seem to be going through a period of very low employee engagement, in one survey I read employee engagement had reached a record low of just 30% of staff being engaged.
Which means that 70% of the team, organisation or company are disengaged, which is just staggering.
Even more staggering is that there doesn’t seem to be too much concern about this, and I find that very hard to understand. I have worked in a couple of companies where there was a belief that it was the top 20% of the staff that did 80% of the work, so maybe the thinking is that with having 30% of our teams engaged we have enough to achieve good results.
But this is flawed thinking!
It’s team work that gets companies to achieve outstanding results, and if we have 70% our teams disengaged then there will be little to no teamwork. It’s just not possible!
To create strong teams, with great team work, we need our teams to be engaged, because once they become engaged then they can become inspired, and its when we are inspired that we do our greatest work, when we achieve, and sometimes exceed, our full potential.
Often it’s not a question of engaging teams, it’s more to do with not disengaging them. Most people when they join a company are engaged, they want to come to work do a good job, they want to be successful.
But over time the companies, or their managers, do things which actively disengage them.
I can’t tell you how many times this has happened at companies I have been at.
Every Christmas I always remember those times when companies made the decision to cancel Christmas parties as part of some cost reduction program or other. Yes, maybe they save a few 10’s of thousands in cost, but the drop in employee engagement always seemed to offset any short term financial game.
At one company when they announced it, there was a massive negative reaction from the staff, yes it had been a tough year, but everyone hard worked hard and had been committed to working through the tough times. But when the announcement was made, you could see peoples heads drop, the productivity visibly dropped, and there were quite a few people who were outspoken in opposition to it.
They had gone from being engaged, to disengaged, to actively disengaged in a matter of days.
The company quickly reversed the decision once they saw the negative impact, but it was too late, they had disengaged their staff, and just giving them back something they had decided to take away doesn’t re-engage people.
You have to actively do something to engage people.
In this situation an apology might have gone some way to repairing the damage, but the company chose to do nothing other than just reinstate the christmas party. Even worse they blamed the negative reaction from staff as to the reason why they had re-instated it, which resulted in many people boycotting the event.
Creating engaged teams is much easier than many people believe, it just requires the leadership team to make a few positive actions to increase the involvement, commitment and engagement of their teams.
In 2015 I am looking to make it my goal to help companies create engaged teams, improve teamwork and inspire their organisations to new heights. If you’d like to be part of that journey contact me at Gordon@leadership-principles.com for a free consultation and lets look to make 2015 a great year.