A recent Gallup poll revealed some startling statistics on employee engagement in the modern workplace: 34% of employees, the highest percentage recorded since they started polling nationally in 2000, say they are engaged, involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. Those who claim they are actively “disengaged” and have a “miserable” work experience is now at the lowest level yet, at 13%. If you do the math, you’ll realize that 53% of the remaining workers are in the “not engaged” category defined as generally satisfied, but since they don’t feel a strong connection to their work and workplace, they’re likely to consider leaving for only a slightly better offer of employment.
Why is Engagement So Important?
Well think about it, if you’re doing the absolute minimum and consider yourself not engaged, then all you’re doing is just physically showing up for work, but you’re mentally checked out. That doesn’t feel good. If you’re only doing what’s absolutely required to keep you from getting fired, then every task feels like a chore and you’re likely to have more days go sour than sweet. An active connection and relationship with the work you do, your place of employment and the people you work with are all the key ingredients to being engaged, fulfilled and successful at work.
So What do We do About it?
Since engagement and productivity are so important in the work-place, it’s vital that both employees and employers take the time to see both sides of the table and take steps to both increase the likelihood of a positive staff experience, and meet the company bottom line. Here’s three ways to do that:
1. Disconnect and then Re-Connect
We all know the famous saying – leave the work at work and for many of us, that’s easier said than done. But, we also know that to truly achieve work-life balance and life balance in general, you do need to put the work away to focus on other priorities like family, education, fitness or creative pursuits that are also going on in your world. That being said, are you consciously checking back-in to work the next day? Especially after a long weekend or a late-night out doing something fun, it can feel like a tall order to just come in to work at all, much less get back in the groove. A way to make that easier might be taking just five to fifteen minutes to write a few notes down, check your calendar due dates or converse with your manager about priorities for the day/week. Wait a bit longer to open your email (other than to check calendar due dates) so that less urgent content doesn’t distract you from your initial planning and re-connect.
2. Great Expectations
Being uncertain about what is expected of you at work is a major cause of discontent. Gallup also found out that over 40% of workers polled had no clear job expectations or formal job descriptions. If you don’t have a formal job description, ask for one. If you’re an employer who is keeping the employee in the dark, recognize that this is a contributing stress factor that leads to job abandonment and dissatisfaction. A position starts with a job description and morphs over time through performance, dialogue and calibration into something that is ideally fulfilling for the employee and productive for the employer – a full return on investment for both sides. And just like the student report card, nothing about the performance should be a surprise at the annual review – keep the communication open, timely and direct.
3. Making a Difference
We have previously talked about how important it is to feel like your work matters. Having a purpose at work not only feels good, but directly contributes towards the company bottom line, long-term employee retention and promotions from within. Do you have a company mission statement or a set of core values? As owners and managers, take the time to show (not just tell) your team what the larger goals are and how you’re going to accomplish them together. As an employee, this starts before the application or interview stage – research their stated values, commitments and actions. Do they walk the talk and does it sync with what is important to you? All of these things contribute towards making a difference at work and in our communities, helping to establish a strong sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging to something greater than yourself.
Mission Statement: Designing A Better Future
At Lionakis, we work with you to create environments that transform the communities in which we all live and work. Working with us you will discover you are at the center of a passionate team that builds strong relationships based on trust and a common goal. Backed by designs that are sustainable, inspiring and appropriate. You will enjoy the process as much as the finished product. After all, it’s not about us, it’s about creating a better future for you and the communities you serve.
Lionakis Core Values
VISION: We see design in every opportunity
INTEGRITY: We act with integrity, respect and trust.
LEADERSHIP: We lead with passion and inspiration.
SUSTAINABILITY: We know it’s the right thing to do.
COMMUNITY: We are committed to a culture of giving.
TEAM: We are one team.
Want to know more about joining our team? Job openings, descriptions and next steps are right here.