In the past five years, Gallup has tracked employee engagement among Britons and the latest data, gathered in 2016, is dismal. A mere 8% of employed Britons are engaged at work, down from 17% in 2012. Rounding out the score, 73% are not engaged, and 19% are actively disengaged, meaning they act out their unhappiness on the job.
How does this compare to the United States? In America, 33% of employees are engaged at work, which is much better than the UK, but still nothing to celebrate. This means that a full two-thirds of U.S. workers are sleepwalking through their day, doing what they have to do to get by, and giving employers little to no discretionary effort.
You may think that I’m about to explain how to re-engage workers, but a countless number of my blogs have focused on that. Let’s focus instead on a perplexing phenomenon that boggles my mind and should boggle yours: Why the majority of global leaders continue to do nothing about the employee disengagement epidemic.
I have my theories and they are steeped in two areas. First, many leaders still don’t get it, even though a plethora of data exists espousing the benefits of engaged employees. Second, many senior leaders have large egos. It’s the truth. I recently read that 76% of CEOs say they are the most important employee in their organization. There is only one occupation that rates higher in self-importance: private chef.
When a person’s ego is large, he/she has a hard time admitting that things are bad because they think the admission is a testament to their poor leadership skills. And it is. However, what they are missing is that people can be very forgiving. If your leader has the confidence to admit that things aren’t where they need to be, but he/she is going to champion an initiative to change it, employees will we grateful and will begin to trust the CEO, which is a major element of engagement.
BE AWESOME! I don’t care what seat you sit in at your company – you can affect change. If your culture is poor, share this blog and the truth with your CEO: he/she must engage in your journey in order to succeed and no one wants the company to fail. Everyone is rooting for everyone else and wants to be a part of a winning organization. The first step toward that goal is to be honest about where you are and then create an amazing culture that re-engages your most valuable asset. You can do this…
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She was recently named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.