Main reasons why employees are not engaged in their work and what you can do about it

4th of January 2017 Article by Peter Ankerstjerne
Main reasons why employees are not engaged in their work and what you can do about it

The world is currently experiencing an employee engagement crisis and recent data suggests that only 13 per cent of employees worldwide are engaged in their work. But why are employees not engaged and what can facility managers do about it? Peter Ankerstjerne, ISS head of group marketing, writes his latest ECJ blog.

There has never been more attention to the importance of employee engagement in the workplace than what we have experienced in the recent years.

And this is not to say that nothing is being done about it. Leaders and companies undoubtedly recognise the advantages of employee engagement, including the positive impacts this has on the company bottom line and even how employee engagement drives higher customer satisfaction.

Many have also instituted annual surveys to measure employee engagement in order to better understand their employees and what drives them in their daily work.

So why is it not working? And why are employees not more engaged in their work?

Their strengths do not shine through in their jobs

As human beings we are empowered the most when we get the chance to do what we love doing. The best we know is to do something that we know are good at doing, something that stimulates us mentally and something that we find interesting.

If these factors and perceptions are not present within our work environment, then our job is simply not that exciting to wake up to in the morning.

A Gallup study shows that employees who use their strengths every day at work are six times more likely to be engaged than those who do not. Furthermore, 71% of your employees are disengaged when a leader or managers focuses on what they have not done well.

Tip 1: Focus on employee strengths

The Gallup study also showed that when managers are focused on employee strengths, 61 per cent of workers are engaged and only 1% experience themselves as disengaged.

Even though employee weaknesses should not be ignored, it is important for every leader to enhance the focus on what employees do well in their work and develop the individuals in the context of their natural talents at a level where they feel that their contribution matters and makes a difference in the workplace.

They do not feel their work is important and valued

There is nothing more disengaging than coming to a workplace, where you feel that your needs and the work you do as an employee is not prioritised, valued or important.

If employees lose track of why they are actually a part of a workplace and why their contribution in particular is needed and makes a difference then it is a lost call.

On the other hand, employees who see a clear connection between the work they do and a positive outcome are much more engaged.

Tip 2: Be an inclusive manager

By being inclusive as a manager you can surely improve employees’ belief in the importance of their work and contribution.

Therefore, make sure to give your employees feedback on a regular basis and let them know exactly where their personalities shine through and make a difference for the organisation as a whole.

They have lost track of company purpose, vision and goals

There is nothing more powerful that having a purpose with what you do in your every day life – especially if you can align your purpose with the purpose of your employer and with what you do for living.

That being said, there is also nothing more demotivating than a job where you do not have the clarity in terms of the company purpose, vision and goals.

In other words, what is there to strive for when you do not know where you are going and why you are heading in that direction?

Tip 3: Create a clarity of company purpose, vision and goals

For employees to be engaged in their work and love their job, they must believe in the company purpose, vision and goals and the management must be good at continuously bring these factors into the employee recognition in everything they do.

On an individual level, studies also show that if managers help employees to set performance goals, employee engagement reaches an incredible 69 per cent. If managers do not help employees with setting these goals, 53 per cent will consider themselves to be disengaged with their work.

To make your employees engaged with their work, setting clear goals, expectations and continuously reinforcing the company purpose and why we are doing what we are doing will undoubtedly make a happier workforce.

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