70% Of American Workers Are Not Engaged In Their Work – What Managers Can Do To Change This

Gallup’s 2013 State of The American Workplace report is out and states that only 30% of workers are engaged in their work. Gallup estimates that active disengagement costs the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year. Some other findings in the report:

• The generations at the beginning and approaching the end of their careers tend to be more engaged than those in the middle of their careers

• Millennials are most likely of all generations to say they will leave their jobs in the next 12 months, if the job market improves.

• Women have slightly higher overall engagement than men.

• Employees with a college degree are not as likely as those with less education to report having a positive, engaging workplace experience.

So how are managers to deal with this? Gallup says it has found that managers who focus on their employees’ strengths can practically eliminate active disengagement and double the average of U.S. workers who are engaged nationwide. That’s a lot of pressure to put on managers, but focusing on employee strengths is a start.

This finding is so compelling that it is worthwhile to take a look at your team’s level of engagement in their work. Could increasing their engagement significantly increase productivity?

Here are a few ways to assess your team’s level of engagement:

• In a team meeting tell them about the findings of the report and create an open space for their thoughts about it.

• Ask them what your organization can do to increase their engagement and what the biggest obstacles are to their engagement. Let them discuss in third person so that their individual experiences are not focused on, unless they want them to be.

• Create your own assessment tool through a survey or other means

• Build engagement into performance measures in a positive manner, having the organization share in accountability for employee engagement.

• Keep employee engagement on your radar and actively support it.


photo: David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net