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FACTORS THAT REDUCE/ STOP ENGAGEMENT
Gallup reports that globally, only 15% of employees are engaged in their work. It means that 85% employees are less engaged, disengaged, and actively disengaged. Less engaged and disengaged employees still do their work, though without committing themselves. Actively disengaged employees do not just perform in a compromised manner, but they become a source of negativity for the other employees. Their negative influence has the likelihood of spreading gradually. They would criticize the policies and procedures while following these, and they will object to all new initiatives.
It is a huge contrast that more than one fourth employees are in various stages of disengagement. Many factors must be there to lead to this large-scale phenomenon. We look at some of the factors below.
Only 25% employers have an active engagement strategy for their company – The Muse
Majority of leaders express in discussion that an engagement strategy has a significant impact on business success. However, only about 25% of them have an active engagement policy in place. It leads to the conclusion that the belief is not being translated into action. There may be reasons for this, like non-availability of qualified HR personnel, lack of commitment at managerial levels, and cost. But the result is that it impacts the performance of the organization.
75% of employees who voluntarily quit their jobs do so because of their bosses – The Muse
Survey after survey has underscored the role of bosses in employee engagement, longevity, and turnover. These bosses are mainly direct reporting officers who interact with the employee frequently, may be every day, or many times in a day. Inconsiderate, harsh, rude, insulting bosses hurt the self-esteem of employees which forces them to try and hide. They do not contribute new ideas, remain unsure about their own survival, and become detached to other team members. Either they choose to leave on the first available opportunity, or they become average performing people relegated to backbenches.
69% of employees say that they are ready to work harder if their bosses appreciated their efforts better – Hubspot
Many, if not most, bosses are stingy about appreciating people. Some believe it would relax the employees while they prefer to keep them on toes; some believe that appreciation is not needed because everyone is getting paid for the job; yet others have poor social skills and do not understand the significance of proper mannerism. A higher salary and financial rewards do motivate employees, but it is short-lived, and it cannot be repeated often. Recognition and appreciation are free, can be done as often as required, and have a longer-lasting effect.
96% of employees cite empathy as an often-overlooked factor for employee retention – Forbes
This takes us to the subject of Emotional Intelligence which is now considered essential for managers and senior managers. It is measured as EQ – Emotional Quotient and is rated higher than the IQ – Intelligence Quotient. In fact, Good IQ and EQ are sure combination for great successes. Empathy is one of the main domains of emotional intelligence. Empathy may be defined in several ways but simply speaking, it is the ability to see from the vantage point of others or being able to be in their shoes. Empathy helps to understand others better and deal with them in customized, more appropriate manner. One major reason why managers do not practice empathy is that they think it is counter to their ‘boss’ image; and that they would look weaker to employees. It is a serious misconception, but it prevails.
Workplace stress causes employee disengagement – Accountemps
Workplaces may have several kinds of stresses. It has been reported that heavy workload with looming deadlines causes disengagement in 33% employees, unrealistic expectation of managers – 22%, struggle to achieve work-life balance – 22%, and conflicts with co-workers – 15%. These are significant figures that must be investigated. The events are common in any corporate and happen routinely.
The concept of a written job description is not new, it has been around for decades. The JD document should define responsibilities, deliverables, reporting and authorities. Practically, the JDs are neither made or updated nor shared with the concerned. In some organizations, the HR is not capable enough to do this exercise, in others, the managers deliberately avoid committing to a written JD; they would like to keep the situation flexible to their advantage. They believe they can get multiple things done without being objected to, and they can coerce people as they would like to. However, this whole exercise leads to active disengagement which causes greater losses than gains.
Unclear Career Track
Career planning is a subject for HR which is executed by line managers. While HR may understand the importance of career planning better, the line managers insist on handling it their way. The employees wish to know how their career will progress, what is expected of them to do in this regard, and whether they are eligible for next step. Performance appraisal systems reply to the queries in some way, but not entirely. A career track model shows the time frame and certain parameters for career advancement, along with the step ladder one will climb to move up. Of course, performance at every step is mandatory to go up further, but the performance parameters are not clear. In addition, when employees see some case(s) of favoritism, they get further disillusioned.
A poor culture is marked by uncaring attitude, exploitation, abuse, bad language, immoral overtures, and unethical behaviors. This happens when the employers consider staff as their property, and not the human capital the world trumpets about. This situation prevails in most small businesses where abuse of one or the other kind is seen. The finer things like empathy, career, care, teamwork and so on are not even recognized, what to talk of their practice. The sad fact is that a very large number of people work under these conditions throughout the world.
The sum up is that it takes time and effort to develop and maintain an environment which promotes employee engagement, but it takes much less time and effort to make people disengaged. Coercion is common in job market in all countries, and people are forced to continue working under poor conditions. This is the biggest reason why disengagement practices are common and not corrected.
To be Continued……
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