Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you’ve been barraged with reports telling you how the American workforce is utterly disengaged. Gallup recently reported that only one-third of American workers are engaged and 16% are actively disengaged. In a 2013 survey, only 24% of the 550 executives surveyed reported that employees in their organization are highly engaged. Given that the cost of disengagement is estimated between $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year, it’s probably time to get to the bottom of this issue.
How Leaders Can Enhance the Employee Experience
After reviewing more than 200 studies on this topic, I’ve identified the top leadership behaviors and organizational practices that create an exemplary employee experience. I’ve put them into straightforward actions and behaviors for your ease of use below:
About now, you’re probably thinking, “That’s a lot of work,” or, “If I do all this, I won’t have time to do my job!” To that, I say: Engaging your team is your job. It should be your No. 1 priority. If your team is highly engaged, you will spend a great deal less time delivering disciplinary action, firing employees, hiring new staff, managing poor relations between team members, and dealing with disgruntled customers or clients.
Oh, but wait, it gets better: You’ll also have higher productivity, employees who engage in greater discretionary effort, and team members who look for and identify ways to improve processes and the work environment. And now for the best part: You’ll have greater customer loyalty and higher profits.
Now, I ask you: Should this not be your No. 1 priority? Look at the list again. Would you rather offer recognition, provide feedback, and support development, or spend your days preparing and delivering disciplinary action?
How Employees Can Enhance the Employee Experience
I leave you with one last thought from Dr. Arnold B. Bakker, a prominent researcher in the area of work engagement: "Enthusiastic employees excel in their work because they maintain the balance between the energy they give and the energy they receive."
My challenge to you is to create an environment that drives employee engagement -- put that energy out there! Hire team members who can demonstrate through their past employment experiences that they have high EQ, are open to experiences, and are resilient when faced with change. You will see a dramatic improvement not only in employee engagement but in your organizational performance overall.
Are you more focused on the leader or employee part of the employee experience equation? Why? Share your thoughts in the comments!
My greatest joy is helping people make bold transitions in their professional and personal lives!