The lack of employee engagement is at all time lows, according to most recent workforce surveys.
In September, a Gallup Poll indicated that as of the end of 2016 only around 8% of British laborers are actively engaged in their jobs, which is down from 17% in 2012. Other nations like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, and the USA reported higher employee engagement. France, Spain, and Italy reported the worst levels of employee engagement, dipping down as far as 3% of the total workforce.
So, what factors are contributing to the lack of employee engagement across the UK?
Furthermore, what can employers do about it? Well, let’s take a brief look at what some of the reasons the Gallup report indicated that employee engagement is down.
From 2012 to 2016, employees were 20% less like to agree that they have the opportunity to do what they do best at work, 25% less agreed there is someone at work encouraging their career development, and 36% were less likely to say that their opinions matter at work. It’s as if employees are either feeling less valued overall, or they are demanding to be heard and acknowledged more often.
Some may call this a generational shift in work ideals. About 20 years ago, the Baby Boomers were the ruling generation in the workforce and they were too worried about staying in a job for the long term to make any kinds of demands. Many were just happy to have a good job and they went with the flow of their organizational demands, often working long and thankless hours to appease management.
The Millennials, who have now exceeded all other generations in the workforce, are not so easy to please. They want their work life balance, their recognition, and their voices heard. They also know their worth in a day and age when job skills and talent are short. Much of this could be contributing to the idea that they are disengaged because they are not getting what they want.
How do we make today’s employees care enough to become engaged and loyal to their organizations?
The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017 indicated that more than half of the some 8,000 Millennials polled want to make a difference in their communities through the work they do. They look for companies that share their same values and get behind the causes they believe in. They also want more stability in an uncertain world. So perhaps, as Millennials continue to mature, they are also changing their perspective somewhat.
Millennials are also influencing future generations, so we must get it right as employers. And if you think that Millennials were a challenge, imagine how important it will be to foster positivity in what will be the most demanding workforce made up of Generation Z – which is the most technologically advanced, connected bunch of young people that needs immediate gratification and feedback. They are the true digital natives who will either adopt your business methods or quickly point out how out-of-date your systems are.
Why measuring employee engagement matters
Every organization needs a way to ensure that it is using the right methods of increasing engagement levels. It’s not enough to ask employees if they are happy. Employee engagement offers a deep insight into what matters the most to employees. This can vary widely from one industry to another, from the startup firm to the established multi-national business. Employees have personal agendas and they have professional goals. How well the two align can determine how engaged they are at work.
When an employer cares enough to take time to ask employees for their ideas, opinions, and input, this can go a long way towards producing a more engaged and loyal workforce. What a company invests in it’s people directly influences output.
To make your workforce more productive and loyal, your organization must keep a close eye on employee engagement. Spotting problems ahead of time will help your company to stay ahead of things and provide a better work experience for all your employees.
Thymometrics provide simple yet effective employee survey and feedback solutions that help your company increase engagement. Contact Thymometrics via email firstname.lastname@example.org, call +1 646 760 9323 (US) or +44 (0) 1223 750 251 (Europe) or visit thymometrics.com.
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