Employee disengagement has huge expenses for individuals and organizations. Employee engagement is indispensable to the health, well-being, and success of organizations and individuals as the work environment becomes leaner, more information-driven, and extremely competitive.
Employee engagement endures to capture the interest of practitioners and scholars, yet estimations are that between 50%and 70% of workers are not engaged. Disengagement has insinuations for profitability, productivity, safety, mental health, turnover, and employee theft.
Though there may be multiple symptoms behind low employee engagement levels, one common culprit is a failure of companies to diagnose that the way people work is developing. From Leigh Branham’s The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave:
- Being passed over for promotion
- Realizing the job is not as promised
- Learning they may be transferred
- Hiring boss being replaced by new boss they don’t like
- Being assigned to new territory
- Being asked to do something unethical
- Learning the company is doing something unethical
- Sudden wealth or sufficient savings to buy independence
- Earning enough money (grubstake)
- An incident of sexual harassment
- An incident of racial discrimination
- Learning the company is up for sale
- Learning the company has been sold
- Realizing they are underpaid compared to others doing the same job
- Realizing they are not in line for promotion for which they thought they were in line
- Realizing that their own behavior has become unacceptable
- An unexpected outside job offer
- Being pressured to make an unreasonable family or personal sacrifice
- Being asked to perform a menial duty (e.g., run a personal errand for the boss)
- Petty and unreasonable enforcement of authority
- Being denied a request for family leave
- Being denied a request for transfer
- A close colleague quitting or being fired
- A disagreement with the boss
- A conflict with a coworker
- An unexpectedly low performance rating
- A surprisingly low pay increase or no pay increase
The costs of disengagement have not been calculated, though some statistics might begin to suggest on important economic reasons to address this silent majority. What makes it exceptional is the high level of employee engagement exhibited by its high performing workforce; the result of true enterprise-wide transparency and trustworthiness that is supported and promoted by all employees and people managers.
Disgruntled customers have a big impact on a business’s bottom line, which brings us to the most important reason employee engagement should be top of mind for executives.