Boosting Employee Engagement: Strategies for a Thriving Workplace

Employee engagement appears to be at an all-time low right now; according to a survey I read, just 30% of employees were engaged, which is a record low.

This 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 30% of our teams engaged, we have enough to achieve good results.

But this is flawed thinking!

It’s teamwork that gets companies to achieve outstanding results, and if we have 70% of our teams disengaged then there will be little to no teamwork. It’s just not possible!

To create strong teams with great teamwork, we need our teams to be engaged, because once they become engaged then they can become inspired, and it is 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 who join a company are engaged, they want to come to work, do a good job, and be successful.

But over time, the companies, or their managers, do things that actively disengage them.

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened at companies I have worked at.

Every Christmas, I always remember those times when companies made the decision to cancel Christmas parties as part of some cost reduction programme 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 had worked hard and had been committed to working through the tough times. But when the announcement was made, you could see people’s heads drop, 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 towards 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 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 take a few positive actions to increase the involvement, commitment, and engagement of their teams.

If you want to learn more about creating highly engaged teams or being a better leader, click the link to view our course.