Studies consistently show that engaged employees are the exception to the rule, not the other way around, and they account for lost productivity to the tune of almost $7 trillion annually. In other words, disengaged employees make up the majority of the workforce — and they're impacting your bottom line.
it's hard to identify disengagement
You might think the difference between engaged and disengaged employees would be easy to spot. While the former are all-star performers, eager to do their best work and are extremely loyal, the latter tend to loaf whenever possible, contribute little in group projects and are often the last to arrive in the morning and the first to leave in the evening.
Yet many businesses struggle to get ahead of issues related to employee engagement. They often find that by the time they attempt to take corrective measures, it's already too late. Indeed, a Randstad survey of more than 2,000 employed adults and over 500 employers revealed a clear disconnect between employees' and employers' perceptions of engagement, with employers generally believing that employees are more engaged than they really are.
what low employee engagement looks like in practice
On one hand, disengaged employees may not actually be your company's worst performers. On the other, they're essentially indifferent to the goals of your business. Day in and day out, they contribute their time — but they're also probably conserving their energies and withholding their best efforts and ideas. They may even be using company time to search for other jobs.
The tragedy of this situation, beyond squandered revenue and productivity, is that many of these disengaged employees would actually like to contribute — given the right opportunity. They want to use their unique skills and strengths to deliver value, but they aren't being approached in a way that encourages them to do so. That's why having the right employee engagement strategy in place is so important.
how to tell if you have a problem with employee engagement
It's clear that too many companies today are struggling to accurately differentiate between who's engaged and who's not — and of course, it's hard to fix a problem when you aren't aware that you have it. That helps explain why, according to research from Deloitte, business leaders today consider issues related to employee retention and engagement to be the second-most-pressing challenge facing their organizations.
What are some of the telltale signs that your company has a problem with employee engagement? Read on to find out.