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Improving Productivity Through Employee Engagement

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A study by Gallup last year (The State of the Global Workplace) revealed that employee engagement across the world is disappointingly weak. Their research found that only 13% of the global workforce is truly engaged. This means that “about 1 in 8 workers – roughly 180 million employees in the countries studied – are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organisations.”

Employees at desk

In fact, a vast majority of the surveyed employees – at 63 % –  responded that they were actually more disengaged than engaged and lacked motivation. Then, 24% of the respondents divulged that they were “actively disengaged”, suggesting that “they were unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to co-workers.” The translation of these figures indicates that 900 million workers across the globe are not engaged and 340 million are actively disengaged.

The highest proportion of engaged workers are in North America (USA and Canada), in Australia and New Zealand. Employees in Latin America and the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Republics) demonstrated a higher level of engagement than those in Western Europe. In fact 20% of Western European respondents happened to be actively disengaged.

You have regularly discussed, heard and read about employee engagement, but what does it really mean? How do employees express their engagement? Engaged employees:

  • Demonstrate higher motivation, commitment and investment.

  • Are committed to their organisation’s goals and values.

  • Show enthusiasm about their work and are willing to contribute to organisational success.

  • Are great advocates of their company and are proud of it.

  • Are willing to offer discretionary effort to contribute to success, as an integral part of their daily activity at work.

  • Are great team players and spread positivity to their colleagues and around the organisation.

  • Want to enhance their own sense of well-being in the workplace.

  • Are happier and more productive!

It’s not surprising that employee engagement is of such immense value to organisational success. High levels of engagement result in greater efficiency and productivity. Developing a working environment where employees are invited, encouraged, and likely to contribute to the organisation’s success by going beyond their contractual duties is actually not that difficult. You just need to make subtle, incremental efforts on a daily basis, which will make a huge difference. Reward and recognition are highly important.

How do you spread and cement engagement across your organisation? Simple:

  • Show interest in your employees.

  • Listen to them and champion their ideas and input.

  • Encourage them to develop ideas.

  • Do not punish failure.

  • Recognise their contribution to the organisation’s success, be it for small changes or great disruptive ideas.

  • Do not solely focus on their weaknesses and failures, emphasise on the positive aspects of their work and their success.

  • Reward the best contributors.

  • Maintain good relationships with your employees, across all levels.

  • Be transparent.

Do share your experiences and thoughts with us.  How engaged are your employees? How do you drive and maintain their engagement?

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