Employee Engagement Statistics are Very Disturbing

Julie Shenkman
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Part of the mission of contemporary human resources departments is to monitor, maintain and improve employee engagement. Especially when the labor market becomes highly competitive in a booming economy, companies should do everything they can to keep workers interested in their jobs. Some statistics from July 2016 bear out this issue.

1. Costs of Disengagement

Company leaders have a vested interest in employee engagement simply because this problem collectively costs American companies around $500 billion per year. Human resources needs to see that monetary value as a red alert signal. Employees that stay happy and interested at work save firms money.

2. Happier Versus Wealthier

Around 36 percent of employees surveyed by OfficeVibe say they would give up $5,000 per year in salary to be happier at work. Happiness could stem from working fewer hours, having a better work-life balance, seeing opportunities for future advancement or simply having supervisors who care. Around two-thirds of workers surveyed said they feel overwhelmed at the office, and more than half work beyond 40 hours per week. Instead of incentives that include compensation, employee engagement can take the form of a better office culture and a more viable place to work.

3. The Right Hires

As many as 75 percent of companies struggle to find the right fit when it comes to new hires and talent. A negative hire can devastate a small startup, and it can reflect badly on the firm as it tries to get products in the hands of consumers as expediently as possible. Firms need to be transparent about their company culture so talent knows what to expect from day one. Transparency comes from a clear mission statement on the website, honest conversations about what employees do and leaders who explain the company's purpose aside from making money.

4. Worker Retention

Without employee engagement, worker retention becomes worse. Up to 79 percent of businesses feel they have issues with retention and engagement. Lack of retention creates a bad cycle in which productivity increases at the firm and workers must work harder to meet demand. This increases stress on everyone, which, in turn, leads to unhappy and disengaged employees. Disengaged people leave to find other work, and that perpetuates the vicious cycle.

5. Leadership

To break cycles of unhappy people at the office leading to poor worker retention and a waste of resources to ultimately find their replacements, firms must have the right leaders in place to handle employee engagement issues. When leaders listen to workers, care about what happens every day and stand up for everyone at the office, they motivate employees to go the extra mile and ultimately create better results for the firm's bottom line.

Employee engagement takes many forms, but a systemic problem only gets better when leaders do something about it. HR staffers need to take proactive steps to remedy engagement issues as they are the experts in facilitating employee conundrums.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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