It is a worrying fact that in today’s modern age, employee engagement is slipping. Be it the increasing size of the average business, or the ever-expanding distraction of modern technology, the causes seems unavoidable and the consequences are concerning.
Deloitte recently completed a massive study of human capital trends around the world, measuring over 2500 major organisations across 94 different countries. The results, simply put, displayed that companies are struggling and in some cases, severely failing, to engage the 21st-century worker, with the most major failings in leadership, talent recruitment, and HR analytics.
Gallup recently found in a 142 country study that 63% of all workers felt that they were ‘not engaged’ at work, and an extra 24% of employees were actively disengaged. That leaves a minuscule 11% of employees who feel engaged at the workplace. As it was a global study, one would expect the most developed nations such as the US and areas such as Western Europe to perform well, but the same study found that 1 in 5 in Western Europe are actively disengaged, while 2/3 are disengaged; While in the US 54% of employees are disengaged, while 18% are actively disengaged.
This leaves world companies with a major dilemma. If a high percentage of your workforce are disengaged with their job, then how can they expect them to be working to the best of their abilities? These facts will also link to another statistic: In the US this year, 26% of working people will change jobs this year. Of the companies interviewed in the Deloitte study, nearly 80% of CEO’s felt that retention and engagement was a significant problem (with a quarter of them classifying it as an urgent problem)
Workers want more. They want to be engaged, excited, they want an experience more than a job. While this may be something that companies currently view as an unworthy or unachievable goal, the truth lies that it is the employees that make up the company, not the other way around, making it the companies responsibility to adjust the way they deal with things in order to bring the best out of their people.
For me, I believe the problem lies with employees feeling that no matter what they do, they can’t make a difference and the way it may be structured could make this true. Those who want to make a difference are faced with the choice of either trying to put their points across and not getting it through or moving to another company in the hope that the next one will be different.
One of the solutions I put forward for this is Idea Management. What is the point of having a specific team of people, not connected to the ground, to be the ones that implement changes? Why not give everyone the freedom to suggest? After all, the people that will be affected by efficiencies and changes of practice are most likely to be on the ground, or at least the lower level employees that make the majority of any company.
Having something in place such as this allows the average worker to feel like, with the right amount of input, they can make a genuine difference to their company, or at the very least their department. If a hypothetical company opened its doors to ideas, took the owners of the most successful ideas, moved them out of their current positions, and gave them the funds and the means to implement the idea, wouldn’t that make you as an employee more willing to put your two cents in? Then, whether intentionally or not, you are working for the benefit of the company and that’s genuine engagement. Create a culture of corporate entrepreneurship and your workers will adapt and innovate your company, they’ll modernise your company on their own. Bring forward the corporate entrepreneur every man.