The Cost of Low Engagement and How to Improve It

engagement

Many people misunderstand the meaning of engagement. It is important to note that engagement does not mean satisfaction. Engagement refers to an emotional commitment to an organization and its goals.  Engagement, generational conflict, emotional intelligence, and other communication issues are some of the most requested speech topics by organizations. This is not surprising because 60-80% of all difficulties in organizations stem from relationship-based issues.  Numerous studies have demonstrated a correlation between engagement and performance.  Leaders with high levels of engagement also were more transformational, had higher levels of interpersonal skills, and had a better sense of well-being.

It behooves companies to improve engagement for a multitude of reasons, including retention issues.  Gallup found that the cost of disengagement was estimated at $550 billion annually in the U.S. With all the chatter about how often employees, especially Millennials, job-hop, it is important to consider why.  Studies indicate multiple reasons.  Talent Solutions found that 42% of job switchers stated they might have remained with their companies had they had better opportunities, benefits, recognition, and rewards.

To appreciate the importance of engagement, leaders must consider who lacks engagement and why.  Organizations may be able to not only improve turnover with improved engagement, but they may also be more profitable.  Organizations have shown a 6% higher net profit margin if their companies have high levels of engagement.  It can be helpful to look at some startling statistics provided by SHRM, Gallup, and other top researchers.

  • 87% of employees are not engaged at work
  • Engaged companies have a 6% higher net profit margin
  • Managers spend up to 40% of their day dealing with conflict
  • Women are 35% engaged; men are 29% Engaged
  • 29% of Millennials are engaged at Work
  • Millennials change jobs more than three times that of non-Millennials
  • Engaged Millennials are 64% less likely to switch jobs
  • 59% of Millennials, 44% of Gen Xers and 41% of Baby Boomers say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a Job

To create improved engagement, employers should focus on communication, growth, development, recognition appreciation, trust, and confidence. Since engagement is an emotion-based issue, it could be critical to create a baseline measurement of employees’ emotional intelligence.  Emotional-based assessments like the EQ-i may be useful.  Leaders must share the results with their employees to develop action plans to improve any personal issues employees may have.  Once personal emotional issues have been addressed, leaders should recognize their responsibilities to improve. Leaders need to get into the rhythm of communicating, showing concern for employee growth, recognizing achievements, and instilling trust by doing what they promise.  By improving emotional-based issues like engagement, managers can use that 40% of their day with productive issues rather than dealing with conflict.

Please click on this link: to take a Generational Engagement Survey.

About the Author:

Dr. Diane Hamilton is a speaker, educator, and the co-author of It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality, and award-winning speaker at DrDianeHamilton.com.  She is a former Editor in Chief at an online education site and has written for several sites including Investopedia.  Dr. Hamilton has spoken for top companies including Forbes about topics including leadership, engagement, emotional intelligence, and generational conflict.  If you would like to learn more about these issues, you can sign up here: Contact.

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