You want employees who are thrilled to show up at the office every day. But recent research tells a different story. In fact, a full 70% of employees are disengaged in the workplace, according to Gallup.Design by Jaco Haasbroek; Open MeThis means we can expect seven in 10 workers at any given company to regularly check out of their tasks, praying for the clock to hit 5 — and that spells bad things for your business. Companies with disengaged employees have between 30% and 50% higher turnover than their counterparts. However, engaged employees can improve your company’s bottom line by as much as 19%, according to a study by Towers Perrin.Your employees started their company life motivated, enthusiastic and fully engaged. Somewhere along the way, they started playing solitaire and watching the clock. That means it’s your job to play detective and find out what went wrong. Disengagement doesn’t just happen spontaneously — it’s the result of company mismanagement.I spoke with Andre Lavoie, CEO of talent alignment platform provider ClearCompany, about how to keep employees engaged in the workplace. Here are some ways you can address management issues to start retaining great employees, improve your bottom line and re-engage your workforce:Align Talent with GoalsIf you’ve ever played the game Telephone, you know how messages starting at one end of a human chain can dramatically change by the time they get to the other end. The same is true when it comes to cascading your company goals.Lavoie’s organization ClearCompany partnered with Dale Carnegie to conduct a survey called “How Leaders Grow Today.” The survey found over 43% of workers are familiar with company goals but couldn’t actually list them. This makes it all too easy for employees to lose track of how their individual efforts fit into greater organizational goals.“Employees need to understand their purpose in your organization starting with your first point of contact: the job description. The best companies have systems in place that help them achieve this from the onboarding process to the employee’s day-to-day work. If the employee loses this sense of meaning, it’s easy for them to feel disenfranchised,” Lavoie said. “But if you can help them understand how their own goals contribute in a meaningful way to the company strategy, that line-of-sight will foster greater engagement.”Conduct monthly one-on-one meetings or utilize a talent alignment system to help employees contextualize their contributions. Most importantly, understand your employees knowing how to complete a task isn’t as important as your workers understanding why the task is necessary.Improve CommunicationAs we’ve seen, one of the biggest problems is clear company communication. You don’t want your company to look like a giant game of Telephone, with every employee getting a slightly different message. If you want an engaged workforce, you need everyone on the same page.Find a way to communicate more efficiently with your workers. According to the “How Leaders Grow Today” survey, less than six percent of companies communicate goals on a daily basis.You need to find a better way to communicate with your workers, which means giving your employees the ability to keep constant tabs on company goals and track their own progress. Lavoie suggests using a system to help workers visualize their place in the organization. You need to increase corporate communication, whether this means weekly check-in sessions, brainstorming meetings or even company retreats.Reward Your Best PeopleOne quick way to disengage your workers is by failing to acknowledge their good work. Great employees aren’t likely to stick around long if they feel underappreciated and unacknowledged. There’s a reason 88% of companies have a formal employee recognition program.“Recognition is most effective when it occurs on a consistent basis,” Lavoie said. This means you need to keep acknowledging the work of your best people. If you know how workers are contributing and reward them appropriately, you can foster a positive company culture and cut back on toxic office politics.Find a Better Motivator Than Money“Show me the money,” might be a famous phrase from the movie Jerry Maguire, but it’s not actually the best way to facilitate engagement. You don’t want your best people working only because they’re looking for a cash reward. You need to focus on more than just monetary rewards if you want to intrinsically motivate your workers.“Cash rewards are an easy fix,” Lavoie said. “Unfortunately they’re often just a band-aid on a bullet wound. They’re a short-term solution to a long-term problem.”For instance, 53% of workers would actually be willing to take a pay cut if it meant being able to telecommute in some form. Other workers are looking for perks like on-site childcare or free lunches.As a leader, it’s your job to know and understand what motivators will work best for your employees. Most employees are looking for a better company culture and a more fulfilling work-life balance. By giving them what they need, you’ll be improving engagement in your company.You need to keep your best employees engaged in the office, not daydreaming about greener pastures. By aligning your workforce with company goals, recognizing good work and offering the right company culture perks, you can keep your best employees from walking out the door.How do you keep your workforce engaged? Share in the comments!
Why Your Employees Are Leaving You, And How To Stop Them