Employees that are not engaged can harm the company

September 28, 2017 - 3 minute read

The Gallup Poll published in 2015, states that only one third of the American employees feel engaged in their job.

Engaged employees are passionate about their job, align with the company’s values and vision and make innovative problem solvers and great colleagues. Actively disengaged employees in turn, can seriously harm the company and in the long-term the economy.

There are three levels of engagement. The results of the Gallup Poll showed that in 2012 less than 30% of American workers felt engaged in their company, while 52% were not engaged and 18% actively disengaged. Especially actively disengaged workers cost the US billions of dollars every year and can really harm the company. The situation is even worse on a global scale: Gallup’s study, that included 142 countries, showed that merely 13% of the employees worldwide were really engaged in their jobs.

McKinsey data shows how engaged employees that are more motivated and committed to their work, show higher job satisfaction, less burnout and perform better than other employees. McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index offers a decade of survey results from 3 million employees at almost 1,300 organizations and can help shed light on the arising problem of disengaged employees.

Managers have far more positive outlook

First of all, it seems that executives feel they are effective as motivators and leaders,
while many employees feel disengaged. Senior managers have a much different view of the reality in the frontline. One McKinsey study showed that executives in organizations believe that they are motivating their employees and that their company will thrive in the future. Employees take a much more negative stance on this, not feeling motivated and engaged by their superiors. Senior executives also overestimate their input. 86% of the managers believe they are engaged and visible to their employees, while only 53% of the employees think the managers are actively demonstrating the change they want to make.

Measure and boost employee engagement

There is however a solution to disengagement amongst employees. The first step is, to measure employee engagement: A survey can measure not only an employee's’ involvement and commitment to the company, but also their job satisfaction and enthusiasm for their work. These components are key if you want employees that are willing to go that extra mile for the organization and its customers.

Measuring employee engagement sets the base for creating a culture of trust and respect. This demands good management, a strategy and great means of communication. Development programs for managers and employees alike, that are linked to scientifically tested metrics and performance outcomes make a great employee engagement approach. These measures can increase productivity, safety, quality and profits. Furthermore, customer ratings are far more positive when they are dealing with engaged employees.

This approach will give a company a serious competitive advantage. Combining the unique strengths of all employees will lead a company to success. Every person has different skills, talents and knowledge that help them do their best every day. Studies show that employees that use their strengths every day are more engaged at the workplace.

Managers need to focus on these strengths of their employees and support them in developing them. Gallup proved, in a study of US employees, that when supported in their skills, 61% of the employees were engaged and only 1% remained actively disengaged. This dramatic result shows that when employees are encouraged to use their strengths, they are not only more engaged, but also able to perform better and less likely to leave their job.

Bas van Essen

Written by Bas van Essen

Bas was Speakap's first marketing manager. He enjoyed gaining a lot of scientific insights about the value and impact of internal communications.