Saturday, 10 November 2012

Tune Out, Turn Off: Disengage or Engage

There is a consistently-reported high level of disengagement linked to leadership in the workplace that manufactures both passively and actively-disengaged people. The level of disengagement is often quoted at up to a staggering 80% of the workforce[i]. But this problem is not restricted to the UK or USA it is a worldwide phenomenon. Leadership is routinely stated as one of the major sources of disengagement.  A quick look at Gallup’s 12 Questions on engagement show how most questions can be directly or indirectly related to leadership.

Since 1997 the Gallup Organization has surveyed approximately 3 million employees in three hundred thousand work units within corporations. This survey consists of 12 questions which measure employee engagement on a five-point scale indicating weak to strong agreement. Analyses of survey results show that those companies with high Q12 scores experience lower turnover, higher sales growth, better productivity, better customer loyalty and other manifestations of superior performance.

Q1. Do you know what is expected of you at work?
Q2. Do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your work right?
Q3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
Q4. In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
Q5. Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
Q6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
Q7. At work, do your opinions seem to count?
Q8. Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
Q9. Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
Q10. Do you have a best friend at work?
Q11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
Q12. In the last year, have you had opportunities at work to learn and grow?
The Gallup Engagement Index slots people into one of three categories:

• Engaged employees who work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
• Not-Engaged employees who are essentially “checked out.” They may be in the building but they are sleepwalking through their workday. They are putting in time, but going through the motions with low enough energy or passion in their work.
• Actively Disengaged employees who aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness in their relationships with their colleagues. These workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish every day through virtual sabotage. They would rather be somewhere else, even if they can’t think of an alternative.
Results of the survey vary from country to country, organisation to organisation, age, education and gender. The results have ranged from 70% to 80% in disengaged employees over nearly a decade. Here are the results from Gallup Employee last year.  The Gallup Engagement Index in the US shows that the current trends remained relatively stable throughout 2011:
A.      Engaged = 29%
B.      Not engaged = 52%
C.      Actively disengaged = 19%
What you will notice is that the population of A (29%) is probably carrying the remaining population of B & C (71%) on their backs. An obvious conclusion is that MF Leaders need to focus on reducing the B & C population ratio and converting significant populations into A-type Engaged workers if the business is to grow and innovate.

[i] Blacksmith, N., Harter, J. (2012) Majority of American Workers Not Engaged In Their Jobs - Highly educated and middle-aged employees among the least likely to be engaged.

1 comment:

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