Sixty-eight percent of employees in the US are disengaged in their jobs.
That means more than half of the workforce is doing just enough to get by. They’re not committed to the organization they belong to or eager to contribute to its success. And it’s largely the fault of employers.
Fortunately, it’s entirely amendable.
Employees disengage when they feel discontented with their jobs for many reasons. Employers need to address these reasons in order to harness their employees’ potential and, ultimately, increase their level of engagement.
Here are six ways to get you started.
Set SMART Goals
It’s the employer’s duty to set the goals of the organization.
From there, the managers and the supervisors will create goals that they and their team can work to achieve. Researchers found that a person who sets goals achieves more success than those who don’t, but the goals they set must be clear and challenging.
The goals you set should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (also known as SMART).
For example, instead of telling your employees to finish everything within the month, classify all your existing projects according to importance and urgency, and ask the team to prioritize the most critical tasks.
From there, they can base their weekly objectives and focus on completing the projects one at a time. Also, set specific deadlines and stick to them. Here’s a guide for setting SMART goals.
Open Communication Lines
Misunderstandings and misinformation are two of the most common problems in the workplace, but you can avoid these if you maintain open communication lines all the time. Be accessible to your employees, and ensure that they receive organizational news, updates, and directives in a timely manner and frequently.
Keeping your employees out of the loop will only cripple their ability to take initiative and immediately solve problems when they occur. The current and future generations of employees put significant value on companies that are transparent and authentic.
You have to have both to retain their talents.
Establish a Healthy Workplace
Life only grows when the environment is conducive. The same goes for employees’ potential. It grows when it is given the training, opportunities, and value it needs. And those are exactly what a healthy workplace provides.
To establish that, organizations should uphold safety and sanitation standards. The physical workplace must be clean and orderly at all times.
Free annual checkups and tests should be provided for the whole organization. Employees should pass a urine test, x-ray, a blood drug test, and other necessary laboratory exams.
Along with a healthy physical environment, organizations should take measures to provide employees with a conducive workplace environment.
In a nutshell, a healthy workplace is where employees are made to feel safe, genuinely interested in their work; recognized for their ideas, efforts, and achievements; and able to have work-life balance.
Provide Training and Opportunities
Career development belongs in the top five things that employees that look for in a job.
In fact, a 2015 Gallup survey found that 87 percent of millennials, who are the largest generation in today’s workforce, said that development is vital in a job. Employees are less likely to jump ship if they are offered opportunities for growth in their workplace.
Employees are people too. They get bored and feel stagnant. If you don’t provide them with opportunities to develop, they will look for new challenges outside.
Aside from high turnover rates, you also have to worry about employees who are ill-equipped to do their jobs. Recent advancements have brought a lot of changes in the force and organizations who can’t adapt will be left behind. As the backbone of the company, employees need to be fortified to take in the responsibility of moving the organization forward.
Hire Good Managers
Employees don’t quit their jobs; they quit their managers. A study by Gallup revealed that 50 percent of 7,272 US adults who participated in their research quit their jobs “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.” Sad but true, nonetheless.
Bad managers make employees miserable at work. The stress and anxiety bleed into other aspects of their lives until the employees are just unhappy all the time. By then, employees will be quick to leave their jobs as if these were buildings on fire.
Employees value managers who are invested in them, not only as workers but also as people. When they feel safe, they take initiative, willingly share their ideas and opinions, and collaborate with to achieve the organization’s goals.
Approval and acceptance are basic human needs.
While intrinsic motivation is the primary force that makes people perform, it needs extrinsic support to nourish it and keep it growing.
For example, a young child will more likely repeat their good behavior when they receive praise or positive reinforcement for it, especially when it comes from their mother or family member.
Although your employees are no longer children, it’s human instinct to seek praise and approval from others, particularly those whom you look up to. When employees are recognized for their achievement and efforts, it bolsters their confidence and value—their intrinsic motivation—and drives them to continue giving their best.
Recognizing your employees’ achievements is another way of empowering them to be fully engaged in their jobs and the organization.
Maximizing employee potential is one of the employers’ most important responsibilities. It keeps employees engaged, therefore decreasing the company’s turnover rates, increasing productivity, and improving the organization’s overall performance.
To do that, you must set a solid foundation with SMART goals, equip your employees with the training and skills to perform their jobs well, provide them with a healthy workplace, hire the right leaders, and value the time, energy, and resources they’ve put into their jobs. Employees who are well taken care of will look after your company in turn.