Are your people really engaged in their work or not? What does current research tell us? What are the implications of the results?
Falling levels of engagement are leading indicators that your business is likely to experience a fall in productivity, a decline in customer service, and increasing rates of absenteeism and employee turnover.
Disengagement, in all its forms, is a real risk to the organization’s productivity and performance. This is especially important in increasing competitive and volatile times, especially as organizations downsize with reduced workforces having to do more with less.
The 3 Elements of Sustainable Engagement
Tower Watson describes sustainable engagement describes the intensity of employees’ connection to their organization, based on three core elements:
- The extent of employees’ discretionary effort committed to achieving work goals (being engaged)
- An environment that supports productivity in multiple ways (being enabled)
- A work experience that promotes well-being (feeling energized)
- Belief in company goals and objectives
- Emotional connection (pride, would recommend employer)
- Willingness to give extra effort to support success
- Freedom from obstacles to success at work
- Availability of resources to perform well
- Ability to meet work challenges effectively
- Ability to maintain energy at work
- Supportive social environment
- Feelings of enthusiasm/accomplishment at work
How Engaged are You & Your Team?
A study by Towers Watson in 2012 shows that only one in three employees are highly engaged – the rest are unsupported, detached or disengaged. These types of engagement and whether people in each category are engaged, enabled or energized is shown below.
Types of Engagement & Attributes Mix
Global Levels of Engagement (Tower Watson, 2012)
About one in five is engaged but lack the necessary support to perform and/or a feeling of achievement and support at work.
Nearly one in five is detached – they have the support they need to perform, and the feeling of achievement and energy, but they are not aligned and engaged with their work.
One in four is disengaged – they are not engaged, energized or enabled in their work. As such they are unhappy in their work, and use your business as the means by which to share their unhappiness to other employees, clients and others.
What Does This Mean for Organisations?
Organisations need to take the time and make the effort to understand their people and where the engagement gaps are that need to be addressed. To help engage people, and to create performance and the realization of the right outcomes and productivity you need to ensure:
- You have the right people
- Who are using the right tools, who have
- Access to the development of the skills and behaviours they need
So what are you going to do, and where can you work first to have the greatest impact? Your people are your biggest asset not on your balance sheet – so invest in them!
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