Recent research by McKinsey claims that more than half the workforce is disengaged to various degrees and admits to being relatively unproductive in their roles.
The article goes on to identify the main drivers of this disengagement, along with six specific categories of employees or architypes ranging from ‘quitters’ to ‘thriving stars’.
With more than 50% of employees low on satisfaction and commitment, these revelations have the potential to cause serious implications for many companies. However, these insights can also be turned into competitive advantage with some careful thought.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is a term used to describe the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in both their work and workplace.
Business owners instinctively know that fully engaged workers perform better (by as much as 20%), so it makes sense to pay close attention to this development.
We’re seeing employee engagement trend downwards as so-called ‘quiet quitting’ gains a foothold with some disgruntled workers.
What is quiet quitting?
‘Quiet quitting’ means doing only what your job demands and nothing more – some staff show up for work but don’t go above and beyond what’s required in terms of fulfilling their role.
This is often justified in terms of taking back control of work-life balance but there are other factors in play. We’re talking about inadequate compensation weighed against the cost-of-living crisis. Lack of purpose and/or meaningful work. Workplace flexibility and lack of career development and advancement. All of these factors can add to the general malaise.
To provide context, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report 2023, just one in ten British employees feel engaged, with the UK ranking 33rd out of 38 European nations.
Bucking the trend
This worryingly low level of engagement will undermine future growth if left unchecked. So, what should employers be doing to buck the trend to get the best out of people and avoid losing talent?
First off, as a business leader, you need to own employee engagement by making it foundational when it comes to building a culture that resonates with your staff.
Things to consider when looking at employee engagement:
- Are your values, mission, and vision truly embedded in your organisational culture?
- Consider how you communicate with your employees in terms of transparency and openness.
- Do your staff have a genuine voice, and do you actively encourage feedback?
- Do you invest in learning and development and facilitate internal mobility?
- Do you recognise individual achievements?
- Where do you stand on flexible working? More and more companies are pushing through return-to-office policies but encountering resistance.
- Do you put diversity and inclusion front and centre as a business?
- Do you have a well-developed approach to social responsibility?
All these things are important in terms of building a thriving workplace environment where there’s alignment between personal values and the company’s business objectives.
Yes, it takes some effort but is fundamental to having engaged employees all pulling in the same direction.
The importance of telling your story with employer branding
The good news is that this is intrinsically linked to your employer brand. You have a unique ability to tell your story in a way that cuts through the organisation internally, as well as externally.
A compelling employer brand should grab the attention of passive candidates who are maybe unfulfilled in their current position.
You already have several clues about what’s causing their underlying dissatisfaction. Your messaging should touch on these frustrations and reinforce why it’s better working for your firm.
Engaging with passive candidates this way helps to plant a seed. Over time you will broaden your talent pipeline with likeminded individuals who aren’t actively considering switching roles right now.
Want to enhance and manage your employer brand? Get in touch today.