Employee Engagement Trends & Challenges - Southwest EAP

Employee Engagement Trends & Challenges

According to Gallup’s 2017 “State of the American Workplace” report, only 33% of U.S. workers say they are engaged at work. That’s a problem. Employees who are actively disengaged are more likely to steal from their company, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays and drive away customers. Further, Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost U.S. businesses an astonishing $483-605 billion each year in lost productivity.

But, even though these disengaged employees might not be your best, any turnover is costly. A good rule of thumb is that replacing an employee costs 1.5 times their salary. Replacing an employee with a salary of $50,000 could cost the company $75,000. When that number is extrapolated across the entire company (executives included), you can see why improving engagement is so important.

According to Gallup, the top five predictors of turnover are:

  • Poor relationship with the immediate manager
  • Poor fit for the job
  • Coworkers are not committed to quality
  • Low pay and lack of benefits
  • Lack of connection to the organization or to senior management

Impediments to meaningful engagement can include organizational unease or departmental chaos, distrust of management, an unstable job market, lack of cohesion across teams and coworkers, or any combination of these. But, simply throwing money at the problem through raises and bonuses, won’t necessarily work with most employees. Just like money can’t buy love, it also can’t buy employee loyalty and engagement. You don’t have to break the bank to improve engagement. Effective tactics can include:

  • Supplying the right tools so that employees can effectively perform their jobs
  • Giving individual attention and understanding individual needs
  • Providing training and coaching
  • Listening to employees and making them feel heard
  • Helping employees find purpose through work
  • Investing in supervisor training to help decrease turnover and increase engagement

Resolve to make employee morale a priority. A business can prosper with the right mindset, tools, and its greatest asset – its employees. When employees feel respected, appreciated and recognized, they’ll stay engaged, and increased success of the business will generally follow.