You’re a manager at a large firm, and as you sit down to start your day, things look good. Your team is working diligently, and when you ask everyone how they’re doing, they reply with a curt, “I’m fine.” So everything’s going great, right?
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Well, there’s a good chance things aren’t as great as they could be. Even worse, you might be a part of the problem. Those curt replies, whispers during meetings and forced smiles could be indicative of some big issues. Your seemingly-fine employees might be suffering from a serious lack of engagement. Want the stats to get buy-in for building company culture and to increase employee engagement? Read them and get cracking!
Some recent statistics from a Deloitte survey reveal just how "not fine" those employees you passed on the way to your office are. 88% of your employees aren’t engaged with the work they’re doing, and 54% of high-potential employees are so bothered by their job they’re thinking about leaving.
When over half of your employees aren’t contributing their best work, you’re not only losing a lot of money, you’re allowing a culture of negativity to thrive. In fact, only 12% of them are actively interested in what they’re doing. Whether they’re being assigned tasks they don’t find valuable, they’re not in the right position or they’re lacking purpose in their work or may not be in the right position, your workers are most likely not as into their work as they could be.
The Fix: Implement a “check in” system where you ask what your employees are doing find out if they have suggestions on what could be better and inquire as to and what they WISH they were doing (professionally).
Knowing what your employees aspire to do will give you insight into their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, asking your employees for their opinion on current processes makes them feel valued in the company.Perform this monthly if possible in an informal, casual way.
What does it mean if your employees aren’t engaged? Along with a lack of initiative, excessive excuses and too much complaining, it means they’re more likely to leave. The disturbing reality is that the annual cost to replace employees adds up to about $5 Billion every year, reports a recent HRReporter survey.
You might think not everyone needs to like what they’re doing in order to do great work (“work isn’t supposed to be fun,” you might say). Unfortunately, while work doesn’t need to be the most enjoyable thing in an employee’s life, it does need to be interesting and fulfilling in order to keep employees engaged, productive and passionate. Those uninterested and disengaged workers are adding up, and it is costing you.
The Fix: Use this knowledge to get buy-in from the executive team for a goals or performance management system. Because your people are your organization’s most important asset, it makes sense to invest your time and money into their development. A performance management system like ClearCompany’s allows you to conduct 360 degree reviews, track important analytics and track year-over-year performance all in one place. You can use the money you’d lose from employee turnover to invest wisely and show a return on that investment.
Okay, maybe not you specifically; you’re probably a really nice person. However, the numbers aren’t in your favor. Unfortunately for you, 75% of employees don’t leave their job, they leave their boss. For the majority of your workers who are disengaged, company culture could determine whether or not they’ll stay. Are they in a culture where they feel valued? Where they feel like they have some control over their jobs and their futures? Do they have opportunities to grow?
Like it or not, you’re a big part of that culture, and if your management style doesn’t motivate your employees — or worse, makes them feel as though you’re in the way — they will end up leaving. Even if your intentions are good, if you’re not working with your employees’ strengths and weaknesses, you’re not doing yourself or your company any favors.
The Fix: Just because you’re on top of the heap doesn’t mean you get to stop learning and growing. In fact, because more people depend on you for success, you should be doubling your efforts to improve and innovate. One way to do this is through employee surveys. In an anonymous questionnaire, you can take stock of your team’s goals and needs and then do your level best to remove obstacles from their paths.
Here’s another misconception most managers have: if an employee is on the verge of quitting, the solution is to offer them more money! Unfortunately, that probably won’t work: 89% of employers think their employees leave because they’re not making enough money, but only 12% of employees agree. To them, it’s more than just money: it’s culture.
The Fix: Start implementing “stay” interviews now. The opposite of an exit interview, a stay interview is set up to find out why your current employees continue to work for your organization. From them, you’ll learn what your organization or department is doing well, and what might need improvement. Because you’re asking for your employee’s opinion, it’s also a great opportunity to build trust. Your people want more opportunities, freedom, advancement and training. Not more cash, so use the emergency counter-offer budget on something that might actually work!
You may think you have a strong company culture. You make jokes at lunch and everyone at the table laughs. You have Saturday morning pickup basketball games, and Jerry won employee of the month today. You might have even worked to develop company-wide values and traditions, but something just isn’t clicking. Although you’re trying to do right by your employees, those minor perks may not be enough, since 64% of employees do not feel they have a strong work culture. You’re going to need more than the occasional complimentary candy bar to get your employees motivated. So what does it actually take to develop a strong culture?
The Fix: Stop assuming one size fits all when it comes to company culture. Of course you will have some important unifying values, but they need to resonate with of all your different kinds of employees. Take some time to discover the subcultures at your company. Some employees just aren’t cut out for happy hour and pickup games but they may have organized a book club over lunch or an open mic contest. Find what you can support (not take over) and build on that.
While you may not be able to make everyone in your company a ray of sunshine, keeping employees as happy as possible should still be one of your ongoing goals. If your employees are unhappy, they may be underperforming. Happy employees outperform unhappy ones by about 20%, earn 1-3% more revenue, perform 2% above industry standards, and have a positive correlation with shareholder returns. Not to mention that happy employees are far less likely to leave their jobs. Happiness isn’t always as important as engagement, but keeping your employees happy is always something to think about, especially when…
The Fix: Happy is good, but engaged is better. Trying to get both may make you crazy. Remember the saying “you can’t make everybody happy all the time.” Work should be as fun as you can make it but the happiest employee is one who can see the impact of their work. However, there are some easy-to-implement changes you can make to improve your employees’ lives a little bit. Check it out:
- Say thank you for good work.
- Encourage open communication.
- Consistently ask for employee feedback.
Money may not be able to buy happiness, but unhappiness can sure cost you a lot of money. Happy employees are 12% more productive, and unhappy ones are 10% less productive. In total, these unhappy workers are costing American business over $300 billion each year. If you don’t want to contribute to that number, you may want to invest in making your employees happier, whether you’re instilling a sense of ownership in them or keeping them in the know.
The Fix: Keep a close eye on your performance metrics. When you notice low productivity via a goals tracking module or performance management system, keep in mind the circumstances of the employee you’re evaluating. Causation isn’t correlation but if you can tweak a few things about your employees’ workspace and headspace, offer it. This might include an extra vacation day, more flexible work hours, a casual dress code or any number of small perks. It may boost your bottom line!
At ClearCompany, we take company culture and performance management seriously. We believe that they’re big drivers of success in a company, which is why so much time and effort should be invested in them.
As the head of a department in the midst of a sustained period of rapid growth, Sara has spent thousands of hours interviewing, hiring, onboarding and assessing employees and candidates. She is passionate about sharing the best practices she has learned from both successes and failures in talent acquisition and management.