Research shows that only 8% of UK employees feel ‘strongly engaged’ in their work with a massive 21% neither engaged nor disengaged’.
100 per cent of the Exponential team reported that they feel ‘strongly engaged’ in their work. How engaged are you? Gallup suggests that in 2008 the cost of disengagement to the economy was between £59.4 billion and £64.7 billion. The IES/Work Foundation report People and the Bottom Line found that if organisations increased investment in a range of good workplace practices which relate to engagement by just ten per cent, they would increase profits by £1,500 per employee per year.
The Chartered Management Institute reports that there is a strong association between motivation and personal productivity levels. More than two-thirds of those managers who reported that they were motivated at work also claimed high productivity levels (defined as more than 90 per cent). Only 15 per cent who were motivated experienced low levels of productivity (defined as less than 70 per cent).
How do you get people ‘strongly engaged’ in their work? The old paradigm of the ‘carrot and the stick’ appears less effective now than it was. Employers that rely on the ‘stick’ suffer from poor industrial relations, experience high employee turnover rates where employees take with them their knowledge and skills.
Surely the answer is to sprinkle employers with salary raises and other incentives. Just like the stick the effects only have a limited impact and are only short lived. But people only work for money, I hear you cry. If this were true then the phenomenon of ‘open source’ software would not work and Wikipedia world not exist – why do people contribute to open source development and Wikipedia when they are not paid and they often receive little or no personal gain. The answer is they want to because they are strongly engaged in what they are doing. They choose to do it; they choose how and when to do it; they enjoy the challenge and contributing to something greater than themselves.
How can you engage managers, employees, volunteers and customers? Over the next few months Exponential will be sharing some engagement tools and strategies that you can download, so bookmark this page and find out how.