The Overwhelmed Employee: How to engage your team

March 17, 2014

New Gallup research shows that only 13% of employees around the world are actively engaged in work and more than twice that number are so disengaged that they are likely to spread their negativity to their coworkers. The study brought a few other interesting statistics to light:

-86% of business and HR leaders believe they do not have an adequate leadership pipeline

-79% believe they have a significant employee retention problem

-77% feel as though they do not have the right HR skills to address the problem

-75% are struggling to attract and recruit the top people they need

-Only 17% feel as though they have a compelling and engaging employee brand

With 2/3 of America’s workforce feeling overwhelmed (thanks to a lack of work-life balance, increased hours and more emails/conference calls/meetings than ever), how can we as business leaders refocus our employees, strengthen our leadership teams and attract new talent to drive us to the top?

A recent major study of human capital trends from 2,500 organizations in 90 countries around the world has shown that there are five elements that drive a highly engaged workforce:

1. The work itself

2. The management environment

3. The flexibility and inclusion of the workplace

4. The ability to learn & grow

5. Trust and meaning from leadership

A “great company” to work for today doesn’t just have a ping pong table in the break room and hosted happy hours, they have an energy about them that makes it exciting to clock in each day. They invest in their management team and inspire employees to grow in their positions. Overall, they shape their environment in a way that brings purpose to the organization – motivating employees to work harder each day.

What does this mean? It’s vital to create a strong office culture.

Think of your employees as your customers; ask what they want in an employer, what’s important to them, and what improvements could be made to their current environment. Doing so will give leaders a more holistic peak into the minds of your team, how you can improve work, provide more coaching, improve flexibility, and become more inclusive – thereby driving meaning into the workplace. In doing so, you have a better shot at cultivating passion, engagement and commitment in your employees – something we all need to succeed.

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