Combating Disengagement

76% of Australian employees are not engaged in their job*

This statistic came as a shock to me considering the average Australian spends two thirds of their waking hours at work. So, what can be done to raise the level of engagement in businesses?

The way I see it there are 2 levels of disengagement

NOT ENGAGED – these employees just turn up, clock in and clock out on time. They don’t get promoted and they don’t go beyond their job role. Despite a lack of engagement, these workers are not necessarily a bad thing for the business and don’t tend to create negativity.

ACTIVELY DISENGAGED – These workers have a toxic impact on the culture and cost Australian business owners millions each year in increased sick leave, lack of productivity and recruitment costs associated with high staff turnover.

It is time to broaden our minds and change the way we manage people. Despite an obvious shift in people’s professional needs – “We are still using yesterday’s management skills for tomorrow’s people challenges”

Gone are the days where employees remain loyal to one job. People have evolved. They are driven, assertive and need to feel like they a contributing and providing value to the business – or they will simply move onto the next role. In order to increase levels of engagement, we need to change our thinking and the way we approach key areas of management;

RECRUITMENT PROCESS – we employ people for what they know and fire them for who they are. It is time to traverse this old approach. Skill can be taught but how a person relates to the company values is a vital in their level of ongoing engagement. Follow the SKILL / WILL / FIT model and use tailored assessments to understand people’s hardwiring and how their personality will fit into the culture

PERSONALISED MANAGEMENT APPROACH – there is no “one size fits all” approach to management. Every employee has different learning styles, needs and motivators. Take the time to understand what drives each employee and use a tailored approach to manage them based on their strengths.

ENCOURAGE YOUR PEOPLE TO BE MORE SELF MANAGED – take some responsibility off the Managers and put it back on the employees. Developing a self-managed team who are engaged and invested is the key to any businesses success.

*Statistic courtesy of the Gallup worldwide survey on employee engagement