From a statistical standpoint, it’s more likely that your employees are disengaged than not, and this hurts your organization far beyond simply having unhappy employees. Disengagement affects performance, productivity, finances, turnover, you name it. 

Positive employee engagement is an enormous contributor to the health and long-term success of a business. Yet, just 30% of workers are engaged

Look around your company. Out of 10 workers, are at least three of them engaged? If not, what are your plans to do about it? 

Let’s break down why employees are disengaged and, most importantly, how to fix it before it’s too late and your business suffers great setbacks.

5 Reasons Employees Are Disengaged

It’s essential to understand what’s causing so many employees to be unhappy at work before taking steps to fix the situation. Here are five key factors that most often lead to employee disengagement

1. Insufficient Compensation

Insufficient compensation is a recipe for disaster – or, rather, disengaged employees. If your employees are paid less than the market rate for their positions, they may look to leave once a better opportunity arises. 

Many companies provide minimal bonuses or none whatsoever. Promotions may come with more responsibility but barely the additional compensation that’s deserved. In a poorly run organization, hard-working employees are often forced to take on the responsibilities of those who quit or aren’t performing to standards, but without extra pay.

If you treat employees as mere line items on a budget, you’ll leave them with little reason to be loyal to the company or put in their best effort.

2. Little to No Rewards

Employee satisfaction isn’t always just about the money, though. Your best employees are looking for something more. Top-performing employees strive to gain promotions, new responsibilities, and even simply to have their work noticed. They want to know they’re valuable to the organization and appreciated by management. Great employees need room to grow with something to strive toward.

If you don’t recognize the talents, drive, and ambition of your best employees, you’re risking that they won’t make plans to move on to a company that does recognize them. If your staff doesn’t receive recognition, or if they’re unable to resign on their terms, they’ll quickly become disengaged employees.

3. Toxic Workplace Culture

In many toxic workplace cultures, politics rule. It’s demoralizing when employees see favorites of the boss promoted even when the work of those individuals is subpar. If your organization promotes people for the wrong reasons, employee engagement could decline, and your best employees may lose steam and feel forced to look elsewhere for better company culture.

Racial and gender discrimination in promotions remains an enormous issue in 2019, and it could be affecting your organization. Take an honest look at which employees have risen to the top. Did they truly earn their place? Are you failing to promote those who truly deserve it because of office politics or subconscious biases?

4. Lack of Company Alignment

If employees don’t understand the company’s mission, goals, strategies, or how to fulfill the needs of clients, you can expect they’ll become disengaged.

Harvard Business Review found that 70% of employees say company alignment is the greatest hurdle to achieving company strategy. Aligning employees with company strategy is directly correlated with positive operational and business results. Yes, employees want a reason to work for you other than compensation! They wish to believe in your company. 

5. Poor Communication

Organizations that don’t welcome open and honest communication will suffer in the long run. Employees want to share their true thoughts with you – they have ideas and valid criticisms that, when heard, can help grow the business. Per Gallup, only 17% of employees strongly agree that their company has open communication. Individual workers often don’t know what to prioritize or why, which contributes to the staggering 70% who remain disengaged at work.

If you don’t take time to listen to employees, you’re effectively shutting down their ideas and discouraging employee engagement. Or, if you only accept flattering communication and punish those who tell the hard truths, the employees who truly care about the organization will lose hope. 

How Can You Foster Employee Engagement?

Motivating already disengaged employees is not an easy or quick process. Every issue on the list above must be addressed with a plan to fix.

Ensure that your employees are:

  • Paid at market rate or above, with good benefits to match
  • Feel recognized and rewarded for their achievements, efforts, and ideas 
  • Given promotions and bonuses on fair grounds only
  • Engaged on company alignment – i.e., your aligned mission, vision, values, and strategy
  • Able to communicate their ideas, recommendations, and concerns

Take time to carefully address each problem area with appropriate measures and begin to reap the rewards of an engaged employee base.

How Do You Find Out if Employees are Disengaged?

Every workplace is different. To find out which employee engagement factors most heavily affect your employees, you’ll need to ask them. Be careful, however, as this isn’t something you can simply ask while standing by the coffee machine.

Employees need a safe space in which they can share their concerns openly and without fear of negative consequences. Remember, their livelihood is on the line. 

Improve Employee Engagement Today

At Olumo, we offer user-friendly tools that provide an easy and anonymous way for employees to offer feedback on your organization. With our employee surveys and assessments, managers can request honest feedback specific to their concerns. 

Want to know if your employees consider their salaries fair? Ask them via Olumo! Are you unsure how well your organization is aligned? We can measure your company’s alignment.

With the truthful feedback you gain from our anonymous surveys, you can learn where you need to take action to engage employees and simultaneously track the impact of your employee engagement initiatives.

Once you know, you can grow. Request a demo today or text us 24/7/365 at 385.213.1030.

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