Employee disengagement is a costly affair. Not only does it translate to billions of losses in revenue, but it also accounts for significant losses in productivity.
But, what are the factors that contribute to employee disengagement? Before putting the blame on your recruitment firm, it’s important to understand that disengaged employees are not unskilled or incompetent employees.
There are numerous causes behind disengagement, and most are set off by poor management. There is truth in the saying that good employees don’t leave their jobs, they leave their bosses. In fact, 75% of people who quit their jobs leave because of their lousy bosses.
Before losing your top employees because of ineffective leadership, prevent disengagement by working on these things:
1. Lack of communication
Lack of clear and constant communication in the workplace may lead to low employee morale. Apart from discussing work-related matters, managers should also make time to socialize and get to know their employees. Don’t just yap about deadlines, rather try to connect with your team members on a personal level as well.
Schedule regular one-on-one meetings where you can openly discuss both professional and personal matters. Listen to your employees’ concerns and ensure that you will take action after your discussion.
2. Unclear roles and expectations
Employees tend to feel disengaged when they are unsure of what their role is and what is expected of them. To avoid this, provide clear expectations, as well as a detailed and honest account of the job description even before hiring.
It’s also good to talk about the pay and other benefits your company provides so that you will not fall short of your employee’s expectations. Put your best foot forward, but be careful not to oversell your company and create unrealistic expectations.
3. Excessive workload
In a 2016 survey by Paychex, 63.12% employees reported overworking as one of the top reasons they quit their job. If you have noticed your employees working long hours but failing to meet deadlines, perhaps you’re giving them an overwhelming amount of work within an unrealistic period.
While it is tempting to push your top employees to work harder, you must make sure that you assign realistic tasks and set reasonable deadlines to avoid burning them out. Additionally, if you are going to assign more work to an employee, you should provide corresponding incentives to increase motivation.
4. Uninteresting tasks
Talented employees need challenges to thrive in the workplace. As a manager, don’t hog all the work and give the “scraps” or menial tasks to your employees. Instead, help them grow by giving them an opportunity to contribute their ideas and assigning tasks that will help them showcase and improve their skills.
5. Poor management
Management can significantly impact employee engagement, morale, and productivity. To keep talented employees engaged, managers are challenged to do away with a one-size-fits-all management style, and instead, they should tailor their methods according to the skills of their employees.
When employees are assigned a new task, for instance, they should be provided help and guidance so that they wouldn’t feel lost. Meanwhile, when employees are already adept to their responsibilities, they should be given trust and autonomy to do the job with minimal supervision.
The bottom line is that effective managers should know when to be hands-on and when to be hands-off.
6. Lack of praise and feedback
Employees need to feel valued and appreciated. With this in mind, it is important to provide constructive feedback to affirm your employees’ hard work. Don’t be stingy with giving praise especially when an employee truly deserves it. Praise is an effective reward to reinforce good work, and best of all, it’s free!
Giving feedback, on the other hand, allows your employees to recognize their strengths and weaknesses or the areas they need to improve on. It’s instrumental in helping your employees grow and achieve their career goals.
According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, feedback should be specific, immediate, and frequent to be effective. Regular one-on-one meetings for feedback giving is, again, a helpful way to let your employees know how they’re performing and how you can help them further improve their skills.
7. Poor office environment
Your office environment also plays a significant role in keeping your employees engaged. Your employees spend at least 40 hours a week in the office, so it’s important to create an inviting and welcoming space where they will want to spend time in.
Mind you, creating an ideal work environment doesn’t need to be extravagant or costly. As long as your space reflects your company’s values and is conducive for productivity, collaboration, and focus, you are well on your way to designing an engaging workspace for your employees.
8. Lack of fun and socialization
Numerous studies show that well-being significantly affects productivity. Simply put, a happy employee is more productive than his or her stressed out counterpart.
A survey by Wills Towers Watson reports that excessive levels of stress and pressure lead to lower engagement and productivity. Additionally, a Stanford study shows that productivity drastically declines when employees work for more than 50 hours a week.
So, what can managers do? Give sufficient time for rest and leisurely activities. This may seem counterintuitive as we are led to believe that the more hours we clock in at work, the more we can accomplish. However, as research shows, employees also need a bit of fun and socialization to be more productive.
Organizing enjoyable activities for your team, encouraging socializing, and designating rooms for relaxation in the office are some of the ways to keep your employees’ work-life balance in check.
These are just some of the factors that contribute to employee disengagement. Note that in each item, there is a tip for the manager as preventing disengagement relies heavily on effective leadership.
How do you keep your employees engaged in the workplace?