That's the percentage of U.S. workers who aren't engaged at work according to the latest State of the American Workplace report, which was released by Gallup earlier this year. It might be better than the worldwide statistic (87%), but it still means the majority of America's workforce isn't quite as happy as they could be. Having engaged employees should be a business goal for all companies because of the great benefits. Engaged employees have a higher level of satisfaction; they're more likely to work harder and produce quality work, which can increase profitability because more can be accomplished each day and it keeps clients coming back. Companies with high engagement also have a higher retention rate, meaning lower turnover and time/money saved on interviews, training, and severance packages.
So what yields high employee engagement?
Employees who are engaged at work (in the U.S. that's 30%) generally have these things in common:
1. They identify with what the company stands for.
A person who has the same core values or principles as the company they work for will feel a sense of purpose in what they do; their job is more than just a job and that will reflect in their attitude and work. Engagement truly begins with the hiring process; if hiring managers talk about what the company values, candidates themselves can decide if this is the right opportunity for them.
2. They feel empowered by the company culture.
Employees feel understood and fulfilled when there is diversity, inclusion, trust and fairness based on mutual respect, and open dialogue. They'll know that both their team members and the company as a whole relies on them and they'll rise to every challenge.
3. They feel valued.
When people feel appreciated they'll continue completing the same caliber of work day after day. When people aren't recognized and/or rewarded for achievements or good work they might let their work slip because they don't think anyone is watching.
How can you help employees be engaged at work?
The best way to keep employee engagement high is to treat employees like human beings. Employees are people with feelings and desires and neglecting or mistreating them can lead to low engagement and resentment. People like to be appreciated for the work they perform and want to be invested in. Often times employees aren't engaged because they're bored or feel like they're stuck. Opportunities for growth or developing professional skills are attractive because there is always something to be achieved at the end of the day and greater responsible can be gained. Gallup's 2016 State of the American Workplace report estimated that employees who aren't e cost companies $480-600 billion a year in lost productivity, a range not to be taken lightly. In reality each company and each person is different, so not everything mentioned above holds true in every case. It's best to examine the company culture and learn what's important to each and every employee for the best results.