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Employee engagement is a hot topic. It’s the holy grail for companies, who are desperate to keep their teams energetic, motivated and invested in the workplace.
Employee engagement links strongly with strong and healthy workplace culture and is also vital to employee retention and employee motivation.
But it’s not quite as simple as are my employees engaged or not (and we’re not talking about nice-sparkly-ring-type engaged here . 💍 )
According to research carried out by consulting firm Gallop, there are three levels of engagement that workers can generally be categorised into.
This lot are the dream really, aren’t they?
Showing up with bags of energy, drive and innovation.
They derive pleasure from working to their optimum and being part of the bigger picture.
Full of passion and connection.
It’s a yes from us.
Aka The Quiet Quitters type.
Coast through the day, doing what they need to as a bare minimum.
But you won’t get any overtime or deeper level of thought from them.
They’re just there to collect the paycheck.
You need to watch your back with this bunch 👀
They can undermine the wider team, hatch plots to bring down their work nemesis and leave rotting fish in the air condition units.
No, only kidding.
But seriously, these guys want to be anywhere but work.
They can have a bad attitude that spreads, and a serious impact on your business outputs.
And sadly, work is also a miserable experience for them.
Going deeper into this hypothesis reveals some pretty alarming stats.
In Western Europe, Gallop estimated the following percentages in a breakdown of workforce engagement.
Gallops 2014-2016 Results for Western Europe
Engaged Disengaged Actively Disengaged
10% 71 % 19%
And if that was the case in 2016, imagine it now.
There are a lot of disengaged people out there.
A more recent study by Robert Walters surveying 2000 white-collar professionals in the UK, showed that almost half said their workplace had become unrecognisable in the past 12 months.
The reasons given were;
High staff turnover - 54%
Fewer people working from the office - 49%
Decline in team socials - 43%
That’s quite the dismal picture.
And potentially, a lot of new roles to fill 😬
As the most important driver for business success, employee engagement is also unfortunately one of the most difficult to measure.
Here are some signs & behaviours to look for when assessing levels of engagement.
1. Enthusiastic & Positive Outlook
Engaged employees will go the extra mile.
They take pride in their work, enjoy their day-to-day responsibilities, are attentive and overall project an enthusiastic and positive attitude.
2. Productivity Levels
Do you have employees that are head down working, busy in thought, collaborating positively, committed and responsible?
Or when you look around the office are you more likely to see employees up and down taking frequent breaks throughout the day, surfing the internet, fiddling on their mobiles or silently gazing out the window?
Productivity levels will drop with the latter and deadlines are more likely to be missed.
3. Team Player
An engaged employee is easy to work with. They excel in collaborative environments, enjoy teamwork and cooperating.
And they don’t need to be social butterflies to be a great team player – those who are more introverted in life are equally as capable.
Warning signs of disengagement here are those showing signs of being withdrawn or deliberately unsocial.
4. Level of Ambition
Do your employees show interest in pushing themselves?
Do they strive to reach new heights, put the effort in, seek out learning opportunities and skills and ways to develop themselves professionally? These guys are likely to exceed expectations.
Disengaged employees shirk from areas of growth and aren’t keen to challenge themselves unnecessarily.
Employees that demonstrate reliability generally are engaged in their workplace, because they care.
If you’re experiencing a high level of excuses for lateness/time off, general absenteeism and employees lacking accountability then this area may need some attention.
Engaged employees are trustworthy and able to deliver on deadlines and tasks consistently.
6. Communication is on Point
Similarly to being a team player, a great sign of employee engagement is how freely communication is flowing at your workplace.
Effective and collaborative communication is key.
Employees showing genuine interest in others, listening attentively and respecting others even if there is a difference of opinion are all conducive to an engaged workforce.
Trust and respect are a two-way street. Happily, there will be fewer internal conflict situations and increased productivity across the board.
7. Brand Ambassadors
This goes beyond the walls of your organisation.
Engaged employees will be out there, spreading the word.
They speak highly of the company; whether talking to clients, suppliers, customers or friends and family.
They buy into the company mission and values and promote a positive company reputation.
Some other good ways to measure employee engagement include employee surveys (you could try and make them anonymous if you think people will find it easier to be honest) and one-to-ones with your people.
Or – simply observe the team in action. The pointers we've covered here should help set you off. You’ll soon pick up if any areas could use a little attention and be improved for ultimate success.
Thanks to Gallup Research https://www.gallup.com/workplace/330017/employee-engagement-rises-following-wild-2020.aspx