Article | 3:09 min read

Improving Employee Engagement is a Major Task

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A man at the office with his phone

Workers in the United States and Canada are a bit more engaged in the workplace than their international counterparts, but the majority of the global workforce isn't all that pleased with their current employment.

While most business owners recognize the need to harbor strong employee engagement in the workplace, a poll from Gallup shows many are falling flat. The survey, which is called the "State of the Global Workplace," revealed only 1 in 8 employees were committed to their companies and made sound contributions in 2013.

The survey polled nearly 250,000 workers from across 142 countries and showed 63 percent of worldwide workers are not engaged at work. That means they are less likely to be invested in their company's goals or outcomes, which could seriously impact the success of a business. On top of that, nearly 1 in 4 respondents - 24 percent - said they were actively disengaged, signaling employees are unhappy and unproductive at work and could be inclined to bear negativity among their coworkers.

In the U.S. and Canada, 29 percent of employees considered themselves engaged, but 54 percent stated they are not engaged and 18 percent actively disengaged.

But that's much better than some other parts of the world. Only 6 percent of workers in East Asia claimed to be engaged at work, while 35 percent of employees in the Middle East and North Africa said they were actively disengaged.

Happy employees tend to make a happy workplace
David Niu, CEO of the employment engagement firm TinyPulse, told Investor's Business Daily that employers need to treat their employees as crucial business investments to success.

TinyPulse's 2015 Best Industry Rank study revealed the happiest employees credit their coworkers with producing positivity in the workplace and increasing employment satisfaction.

Niu said enthusiastic employees are not only engaged, but they help keep other good workers from abandoning ship. However, the opposite is also true of negative workers.

"If you're not able to keep your best people or you hire subpar folks, you'll see a continual drain as folks bolt for the exits," Niu said.

Why are so many workers disconnected in the workplace?
Niu was incredibly surprised to find money wasn't the main reason for employee disengagement. In fact, it wasn't even among the top three reasons. Niu said the main factors in employees holding resentment toward their workplace included unsupportive managers, a limited window for opportunity and professional growth, and a lack of tools for success.

"The a-ha moment for us was that pay wasn't No. 1, wasn't No. 2 and wasn't No. 3," Niu said. "Organizations need to holistically assess on an ongoing basis how they are motivating their team."

Provide feedback, keep employees in the loop
Inc. Magazine recommended business owners who have had trouble keeping good employees should try to provide feedback in the workplace. Managers and business owners should try to find time to speak to employees on an individual level each week. This helps workers know if their performance is on point and also helps foster an open line of communication between workers and the company.

If an employee is submitting substandard work, these weekly meetings with a manger or owner can be crucial in righting the ship. Managers should let their employees know how they can improve and should be supportive of them, which can help improve employee engagement.

Inc. also stated businesses should try to keep their employees up to date regarding any major changes. A worker will be much more likely to be disengaged if they don't know what's going on with a company on a daily basis.

Jackie Barretta, author of "Primal Teams," told Investor's Business Daily business owners should try a variety of techniques to help improve engagement.

"No approach would make everyone happy, because different people want different things," Barretta said.


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