Engaging Workers To Boost Productivity: Tips For Small Businesses

Engaging Workers To Boost Productivity: Tips For Small Businesses

The U.S.economy loses up to $550 billion a year because of unhappy employees. While workers still labor in pursuit of the American Dream, it seems they’re not entirely engaged doing so. Across the globe, as much as 85 percent of employees are disengaged or actively disengaged. Owners are increasingly striving to improve company culture so that staff disengagement doesn’t drag down the workplace, and ultimately, the bottom line.

Identifying a disconnected worker

When an employee doesn’t enjoy their work and scrapes by achieving the bare minimum of what is required, it’s likely they are disengaged. These employees often don’t feel challenged, emotionally attached, or optimistic about career advancement. As a result, they don’t extend themselves or have the drive to deliver better outcomes. A disengaged worker won’t always create problems, and can even be reluctant to quit their job. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for negativity to spread and damage the collective employee morale.

Early signs of disengagement include lacking motivation and avoiding fun or social activities with co-workers, being apathetic about learning opportunities, and not celebrating the company’s achievements. A disengaged employee is also more likely to take sick days and be less enthusiastic about growing the business’s reputation.

How disengagement happens

It’s estimated that more than half of all employees are unfamiliar with their company’s mission or vision. Also, management’s ability to communicate well and be transparent can have a major influence on employee happiness. Your staff wants to be valued, heard and included. If an owner isn’t interested in certain elements of the business; for example, if they ignore feedback or don’t prioritize performance reviews, it’s possible that employees will become disconnected. In fact, this is the case for seven out of every ten Americans at work.

The cost to small businesses

For small to medium businesses, a disengaged employee can cost about $10,000. Reduced productivity and customer satisfaction, high staff turnover, and increased absenteeism all have a bearing on the actual price of disengagement. Disengaged workers put in the time but not the zeal, which tends to weigh down the motivation and ambition of those who are actively industrious. Also, a company is at risk of losing engaged, productive workers who are exposed to pessimistic colleagues. And there’s your business brand to consider. Having a strong, positive reputation is always in the best interests of a growing company.

Ways to enhance engagement

While the cost of disengaged staff can be startlingly high, solutions are attainable. Leaders are capable of cultivating a dynamic workforce by setting clear expectations and demonstrating the importance of engagement themselves. Additionally, organizations should ask for and accept feedback, devise and stick to an engagement plan, and introduce team-building activities. The disconnectedness of workers may have never been a salient issue for your business. But for your company to prosper in a competitive marketplace, you should be aware of the signs of disengagement and take pre-emptive measures to ensure your staff is – and remains – engaged.

Jenny Holt <jennyholtwriter@gmail.com>


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