Surprising reasons for employee disengagement

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09 July 2021

While businesses realize that employee engagement is key to curbing turnover, determining the root cause for disengagement is always tricky


Engaged employees are the holy grail to enhancing bottom-line results. These committed and enthusiastic souls have better productivity, are loyal to organizations and thus are more likely to stay, reducing turnover. 


Employees are the biggest asset of companies, and employee turnover is one of the most expensive affairs that directly impact profits.  

According to Gallup, turnover costs U.S. employers over $1 Trillion a year. Conservatively speaking, employee turnover costs somewhere between 33% - 150% of annual salary. Yes, “conservatively” speaking! It includes the cost of recruitment, onboarding and training, learning and development, and the cost of lost opportunity. And it hurts sales, productivity, morale and makes companies lose their competitive edge on losing top talent.  While businesses realize that employee engagement is key to curbing turnover, determining the root cause for disengagement is always tricky. We are highlighting hidden causes that are the biggest culprits for disengagement 



Functional silos

These silos are a common challenge in companies where different company functions work isolated from each other, without cross-communication. These are a serious concern as it leads to teams working on independent goals without proper alignment towards common company goals. Often this leads to redundancy of work and tools, which add to the complexity and expenses. 


More importantly, this dampens the employee experience as they feel restricted to the same group of people for brainstorming and maybe underappreciated/ invisible to upper management. Functional silos reduce growth opportunities for employees and create a barrier to organizational cohesion.


Thus leadership needs to break silos and encourage a collaborative environment by identifying silos and consistently working towards breaking them for better performing and productive teams.  


Poor teamwork

Teamwork is the pillar for healthy company culture and employee efficiency. It is important for employees to have the trust and confidence in co-workers to collaborate and deliver their best. However, teamwork often goes for a toss due to various factors. Managers do not recognize hardworking team players or make employees feel important and valued, creating friction inside teams. Teams work without a vision, which is detrimental to staying focused and motivated. 


Defining responsibility for each team member and establishing ownership is a great way to boost engagement. All employees in a team should be treated equally, and their opinions should be respected. Pulse surveys can anonymously gather employee opinions in real-time. And an integrated system of employee engagement can also help keep the employees informed about company goals and changes. All these together work to solidify teamwork and improve engagement.  


Bad managers

Like they say, “Employees don’t leave companies; they leave managers.” Managers are responsible for fostering a culture of working as a team towards common goals. However, more often than not, employees don’t receive expected coaching and feedback from their line managers. They do not feel motivated at work and become less productive over time


It is time to have two-way conversations with your employees to improve managerial effectiveness and regain lost confidence in leadership. Employee engagement tools can help provide templates and a rich pulse bank to kick off this effort easily. They can also help identify areas of development early so that managers can intervene before it is too late. Finally, AI-powered engagement tools can also help in recommending personalized learning needs and track progress.


Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work -Forbes


Developmental gaps

Career growth and advancement opportunities are the critical employee engagement factors. However, SHRM's Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report highlights that only 29 percent of employees are "very satisfied" with current career growth opportunities provided by their employer. The reason for these developmental gaps could vary from managers who are hesitant in discussing growth paths or issues to inflexible time-in-grade policies that require employees to remain in their role for a defined period of time before seeking other open positions. 


These roadblocks for growth and development can easily disengage employees and presses on the need for a 360-degree feedback mechanism. Continuous performance management with real-time communication between the manager and employee can boost open communication to discuss personal goals, set expectations and share updates on progress. 


Another great way to address this issue is by career mapping the employee growth journey. Employees can visualize and personalize their journey map for each role in the organization and establish a solid career plan. This can help find mentors in the organization who have successfully traversed similar career paths, and it can also provide targeted learning plans to move to the desired role. 


Transactional relationship

Believe it or not, a transactional relationship between employees of different teams can hurt collaborative work in the long run. Connected employees work to deliver towards the bigger company goals rather than individual or team goals. 


It is clear that transactional relationships can hurt company culture as well as employee morale. The best way to curb this is to have the right intent of fostering a good work relationship with co-workers. Having an open communication channel where employees can talk and feel connected while respecting each other creates a positive workplace environment. 


Increasing skill gap

As companies grow, the need for a highly-skilled workforce increases, so they can maintain the organization’s competitive edge. To be able to close the skill gap between required and existing, the first step is skill gap analysis. It helps identify the skills needed along with the level of proficiency required. It also helps measure the existing skills of your workforce and,  finally the steps that need to be taken to address skill gaps through mentoring and personalised training.   


AI-enabled workforce engagement solutions like Personifwy can help with a holistic strategy, from identifying skill gaps to providing assisted learning solutions. Book a demo today!


Reference

https://leadershipbeyondlimits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/WhyPeopleLeave-Branham.pdf

https://www.training.oa.mo.gov/solutionsarchive/Spring2008.pdf

https://www.rightattitudes.com/2017/02/10/root-causes-employee-disengagement/

https://blog.smarp.com/employee-engagement-8-statistics-you-need-to-know

https://www.mangoapps.com/blog/break-down-organizational-silos/


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