And for good reason - though global employee engagement is at an all-time high of 23%, the fact that 59% are unengaged and the remaining 18% are actively disengaged is a worrying statistic.
The implications of this are serious, but there are a number of strategies to build trust and improve employee engagement that are available to managers and we will explore these in more detail below.
WHY WORKPLACE ENGAGEMENT IS IMPORTANT
First though, what is at stake when workplace engagement is neglected? In 2022, Gallup estimated that the cost of lost productivity from unengaged and actively disengaged workers came to $7.8 trillion USD globally. This likely comes down to two main factors that business leaders don’t sufficiently account for:
- Employee engagement is not a given, nor is it a characteristic inherent to particular employees. Instead, it is an atmosphere cultivated by an organisation, generally on a top-down basis, starting with the leadership team’s vision, which is then promoted and demonstrated by management, and ultimately adopted by employees.
- Financial incentives do little to shift the dial because they don’t actually appeal to an employee’s fundamental sense of worth. A better way to achieve the desired result of a raise or bonus is to instil within employees a sense of psychological ownership over their work, thereby aligning their interests with the organisation’s.
Unsurprisingly, achieving these goals is no easy feat, often requiring an organisation to reevaluate their workplace culture and undertake some fine-tuning until they get things right. That being said, improving employee engagement doesn’t need to be an insurmountable challenge. In fact, there are a number of steps that organisations can take to improve engagement in their workplace.
TIPS FOR IMPROVING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IN THE WORKPLACE
GIVE EMPLOYEES A SENSE OF PURPOSE
As described above, financial imperatives alone are not enough to drive employee engagement. Instead, employees need to derive a sense of meaning and purpose from their work to feel truly engaged. Oftentimes this means being recognised for their contributions, as well as the things that make them unique as a team member. This can be particularly difficult in bigger teams where there is more homogeneity in the roles being performed. In these settings, managers need to make an effort to recognise and cultivate the individual interests and motivations of their direct reports.
This extends to also getting to know them on a personal level and showing genuine care and empathy, as well as an interest in their hobbies and lives outside of work. Emotional intelligence (or 'EQ') also plays a crucial role in nurturing and developing employees - click here to read our recent article on how to create a workplace that fosters EQ.
INVEST IN THEIR ONGOING DEVELOPMENT
Employees thrive when they feel that their career is being invested in by their employer. This is because it shows them in a very tangible way that their potential is being recognised and they are being given the opportunity to develop further. Development opportunities could be anything from allowing employees to spend time each week undertaking online courses or attending webinars, to providing financial support for them to complete additional study.
Regardless of the form they take, these opportunities are a win-win: employees broaden their skillset and develop a stronger sense of purpose, while the organisation enjoys the benefits of an up-skilled and increasingly engaged worker. Be sure to maintain an ongoing and consistent dialogue with your employees around their development goals so they know that you are serious about your investment in them.
ADOPT A STRENGTHS-BASED APPROACH
Though there is always room for feedback and constructive criticism, it’s important to maintain a focus on an employee’s strengths and what they already bring to the table, rather than what they may be lacking. People are more likely to flourish when their strengths are recognised by others because it is a validating experience that encourages them to embrace a more confident outlook.
Employees who have the support of their manager and leadership team feel more empowered to grow and aim for new heights in their role, or indeed a more senior role. So, instead of focusing on the negatives, address them in a proactive manner but shift the focus to what the employee is already doing well and the positive contribution that they make.
IMPROVE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT WITH CENTRAL PARK
With office spaces that are customisable to your needs and a range of world-class tenant-only facilities, Central Park Tower is perfectly placed to support the engagement of your employees.
Get in touch today to enquire about leasing vacancies.