High Disengagement Rates = Challenge and Opportunity
By Jay Forte
The Gallup Organization’s 2017 The State of the American Workplace reported that nearly 70% of employees are disengaged at work.
What does that mean? Let’s break it down.
Disengagement, as defined by the Gallup Organization, means “employees who are checked-out and put neither energy or drive in their work. They get through the day by doing what they need to stay employed.”
Think about your team. Know anyone who fits this bill?
Though the thought of 70% of the workforce being disengaged is alarming – combined with the additional statistic from Gallup that nearly 51% of employees are searching for new jobs or watching for new opportunities – there is a silver lining: if most of the workplace is disengaged and is looking for a new opportunity, then most of the people you meet are open to change.
Knowing that so many people are disengaged in their work and are ready for a better fit opportunity, what is your current process to build a robust talent pipeline?
Though you do have opportunity to hire new talent, you must first understand and address your own disengagement issues. Unless these are addressed, you may lose some of your good talent to other organizations, or create a high turnover rate among new employees.
So where do you start? Some ways you can address disengagement issues include:
- Aligning employees to roles where their talents and strengths are needed. This helps them feel competent and capable in their work. How does your hiring process focus on role alignment and job fit?
- Creating an employee-focused workplace culture that values, develops and supports employees. How intentional and successful is your employee experience?
- Providing employees with the opportunity to learn and grow, enabling development in their strengths area(s) and encouraging them to own their performance / have accountability for the direction of their career rather than becoming complacent. What is the quality of your feedback and focus on development?
- Training managers to act like coaches. In this redefined role, managers work to build relationships with employees, set and manage performance expectations, host performance conversations and work to develop employees’ skills. What is your commitment to shift from managing to workplace coaching?
It’s not too late to create a New Year’s resolution for your company. Empower your people to watch for and connect with talented people who may be disengaged or disconnected from their work or employers. Train your employees to be talent scouts. And be aware of your engagement and disengagement statistics. Make a concerted effort to understand why they are what they are. Be committed to cleaning up your house before you bring new people in.
Most of your world is looking for a better opportunity. Could that be at your organization?
Consider reading Succeeding at Difficult Conversations
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A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn in May 2017.