— 8 min read

Employee engagement is considered to be the number one reason behind employee productivity. It also plays a important role in organizational communication.

A lot of problems come from uninspired employees. They are less productive and they are more likely to leave their job. This is an especially huge problem for millennials, most of whom are likely to leave their job next year.

All managers want their employees to succeed in their tasks. This is not possible when they feel uninspired with at work.

The Cause of Disengagement

  1. Wake up in the morning.
  2. Go to work.
  3. Work.
  4. Go home and don't think about work.
  5. Repeat.

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The work routine is a boring one for many. I've been there. When I was working a 9-to-5, I saw my job as an activity that only paid the bills. This mindset isn't just limited to those working as a barista, cashier, or factory workers. It exists in many offices as well.

The level of employee engagement is scary

World wide employee engagement is very low at only 15 percent. These statistics are staggering. Not only are 85% of employees disengaged with their work, but most managers are as well.

We analyzed different researches and put the results in one infographic. It shows why you need a change in the way your team is working. Here's some facts:

  • Only 35% of the overall workforce is truly engaged.
  • Merely 1 out of 8 employees is committed to the job.
  • Disengagement costs businesses billions of dollars per year.

A huge part of the workforce, from leaders to specialist, are not inspired to exceed expectations. Most of us are not enjoying our work and don't see meaning in it. For a long time I thought this was normal. I believed that work is just something you have to do, not something you could enjoy. Luckily, Weekdone has leaders who changed my worldview and helped me find meaning in my work.

There are 3 types of employees – engaged, not engaged and actively disengaged

If you are the lucky one, then you had the pleasure to work only with people that are engaged. How to spot them? They are the ones that work with passion, drive innovation and move organizations forward. They also have significantly higher productivity than those in the bottom 28%. These kind of people make up 35% of the global workforce. Roughly 1 in 8 workers worldwide is psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organization. Furthermore, most of them come from companies with fewer than 10 people.

But unless you work alone or in a really small team, you have also met disengaged and actively disengaged employees. Majority of the workforce is disengaged, who are essentially checked out and do not put energy or passion into their work. Helping these employees to get on track should be your mission, since they are vulnerable to negativity that actively disengaged people spread.

Average disengaged employee

No need to be angry, but the research shows that there is a typical profile of a disengaged employee. Let's rip off the bandage quickly: A typical disengaged employee is:

  • in the middle of the career,
  • male,
  • not highly educated,
  • working in a office.

This does not mean that you should hire only women in the beginning or end of their careers that are able to work from remote locations. Rather, this means that people in the risk group should need more attention.

How can you improve employee engagement?

For me, having a clear goal to focus on changed my perspective on my job. I stopped seeing myself as a replaceable tool to complete tasks. Rather, I felt as someone who brought something unique to the table and was critical to the advancement of the whole company. Just having a goal isn't enough to inspire engagement, you need a good tool and methodology behind it.

We use the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework to set goals on company, team, and personal levels. That means I can clearly see how my work influences the progress towards my team's and the company's overall Objectives. Knowing how we all play a role in the company goal has pushed my team and I to give more. We are more engaged in what we do because we feel like our work matters.

Another big part of the OKR methodology is taking in feedback from the employees. In our team, everyone can offer suggestions on what their personal goals should be. While, of course, the final decision is made by the manager, having a say in your work gives you a feeling that your tasks have meaning and importance.

Use OKRs to Increase Employee Engagement

However, OKRs are not a silver bullet. OKRs are a tool that lets everyone see how their work contributes to company's long term plans. It helps employees see the meaning that is already there. OKRs show everyone how their tasks are connected. But this only works well when the goals you set are impactful and if everyone in your team commits to using this goal setting system.

Kaspar von Grünberg – CEO of Humanitec told us that "the clear benefit (of Weekdone) is that we are more aligned, structured, and people feel more connected." You can offer your employees the same level of motivation and transparency when you use Weekdone for setting OKRs and monitoring their work.

Focus on humans.

Steve Crabtree has written that global productivity increasingly depends on developing your human capital. Employees are more engaged when they see leaders invest in them. This includes educating them, encouraging them to learn new skills, and providing a better working environment by offering new tools for employees to communicate with. You can start by building a transparent company culture or implementing your company's weekly reporting.

Smart leaders use all these options and clear goal setting to inspire people working for them and get better results. You can have the same level of engagement if you start using Weekdone's OKR platform and give meaning to your employees.