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5 Truths About Worker Engagement That No one Needs To Hear

If you can accept these truths, you can create a culture of sustainable success.

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2, 2021

4 min read

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Highly committed employees are the holy grail of business success. It is clear that the more committed your employees are, the better your company will be.

Here are five employee engagement truths you need to know in order to create engaging teams and reap the benefits.

Almost two thirds of the employees in your company have been laid off

The first step on the path to recovery is to accept that you have a problem. However, most of the companies I speak to don't think they have a problem. They claim that their companies are achieving their goals and that performance is in line with their industry average. However, Gallup conducts an engagement survey every year which shows that an average of 64 percent of employees are laid off. Chances are nearly two-thirds of your employees will be laid off unless you're number 1 in your industry. In addition, 15 percent are actively switched off. In other words, if your business was a boat, for roughly every two people headed hard for your goals, one employee will row in the opposite direction – and the rest are just passengers.

Imagine the benefits of everyone rowing in the same direction.

Most of the money that is spent on engagement is wasted

Every year companies collectively spend billions on employee loyalty programs. Still, the numbers stay roughly the same every year. In my opinion, it's because these programs treat symptoms, not the root causes. They can have temporary improvement, but over time their impact wears off.

Sustainable improvement comes from providing opportunities for people, developing their skills, and providing positive feedback and recognition for their efforts. Still, I rarely see these things in the programs.

It is not the employees who are responsible for the withdrawal

It's so easy to blame the lack of commitment on employees, and given that most programs are aimed at employees, this is where the problem lies for most companies and HR departments.

However, according to Gallup, managers are the ones who have the greatest impact on engagement. They account for around 70 percent of the fluctuations in employee engagement scores. Let's not forget that managers have a direct impact on their teams as most employees are more likely to leave managers than companies.

Managers are the ones who are responsible for employee engagement. Since managers are responsible for the results, increased engagement helps deliver the results. Commitment should be a manager's main goal because once this is achieved everything else will follow.

Managers are less engaged than employees

The big challenge is that managers are even less committed than employees. In a 2015 Gallup poll, the results showed that 65 percent of managers are laid off. The reality is that you can't light a fire with a damp match, and decoupled managers will never create engaged employees. Organizations would do far better if their programs focused on creating committed leaders and managers as this would then help develop a culture of engagement.

If leaders don't care, why should their teams?

Without empowerment, engagement is useless

Your problems don't just end because you have a dedicated team. Your teams need to be both empowered and engaged. When groups are engaged, they want to achieve the outcomes and goals set for them. However, when empowered, they have the resources and tools necessary to get the results. This enables them to have faith that they can be successful and helps create unstoppable impulses.

Engagement without empowerment is like having a powerful engine that is not connected to the wheels. The desire is there, but the ability is lacking. This leads to frustration, demotivation and ultimately withdrawal.

Only by accepting, understanding, and addressing these truths can you create programs that focus on developing your managers, engaging management, and creating empowered teams. All of these help you create a high performance culture that delivers sustainable success.

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