How happy are your employees? Is employee happiness at a low or a high? You know that people don’t perform as well when they’re feeling disengaged, but you may not realise the extent of the problem. The latest Gallup poll (of more than 80,000 workers) on employee engagement tells a dismal story. In 2015, only 32 percent of U.S. workers said they were “engaged” at their jobs. More than 50 percent said they were “not engaged,” while another 17 percent stated that they were “actively disengaged.” This data has shown no significant change since Gallup first started this annual poll in 2000, so the problem is persistent. In fact, more recent Gallup research suggests that, in the U.K., the number of “engaged” workers has dropped to an alarming 8 percent.
Why Employee Engagement Matters
When you head to the office each morning, you hope your workers are feeling energised because it makes the office environment better for everyone. But how does employee happiness translate into actual performance and productivity? The numbers are clear: Companies with engaged workers outperform other companies by 202 percent. Research published by the Academy of Management Perspectives finds that “stronger emotional ties to the organisation serve to significantly lessen the likelihood that employees would leave.” Also consider that the cost of replacing an entry-level worker is 30 to 50 percent of their annual salary. This expense increases as the position being filled becomes more specialised. Replacing top workers can cost a staggering 400 percent of their salary. And these statistics don’t even begin to address the cost of burnout in co-workers shouldering the extra burden after a colleague leaves the company.
Employee Happiness Begins With You
As a manager, your actions can have a profound effect on your team. Research by Gallup notes that managers account for 70 percent of the variance in employee motivation levels. One survey of over 7,000 workers found that one in two had left a job to get away from a specific manager. Given your power to improve employee happiness, what can you do to make your company a great place to work?
Be Engaged Yourself
First, evaluate your own personal engagement. Gallup’s State of the American Manager report determined that only about 35 percent of supervisors and HR managers are themselves engaged. This has expensive outcomes: The cost of managers who report that they’re “not engaged” is estimated to be $77 billion to $96 billion annually, while the cost of the additional 14 percent who are “actively disengaged” is more than $300 billion per year. (On a positive note, the fact that you’re reading and thinking about employee recognition suggests that you’re in the minority of managers trying to make things better.)
Empower Your Employees
People feel a deeper commitment to their work when they have some power over how things are done. Here’s how to empower your workers:
Give them control over their schedules, allowing them to shift start times or work remotely for part of the week. If workers can attend to their outside obligations, they’ll feel less stressed and distracted when they’re on the job.
Communicate how each person’s work matters to the company. Employees will make a greater effort if they understand how their contributions further the company’s goals.
Offer the opportunity for professional development, including coaching or mentorship programmes. Your workers will feel a greater commitment to yourorganisationif they know you value their long-term well-being.
Seek suggestions and feedback. Let every worker, regardless of salary level, have a say in how things are done.
Offer Rewards and Recognition
Everyone should have their efforts recognised. This leads to a greater commitment and deeper sense of personal identification with an organisation. Employee rewards and recognition can take many forms, and the non-monetary kind can be the most meaningful. Forty-eight percent of employees stated that management recognition of job performance, whether through feedback, incentives or rewards, was “very important.” For these reasons, creating a system for employee appreciation is a must for any competitive company.
Use Tech Measure Employee Happiness
It’s necessary to be able to measure your success. You may be able to sense the overall mood of your workplace, but you need something tangible. This is where HR technology known as “pulse” or “interactive listening” surveys come in handy. These are surveys that employees can click and submit at regular times during the workday. This daily information provides a snapshot of your company’s and your immediate team’s well-being, as well as tracking trends in happiness over time.
Employee happiness affects your company’s bottom line. HR tech has become sophisticated enough to measure and respond to some of our basic social needs. With these thoughts in mind, implementing surveys and employee-recognition best practices are effective for strengthening organisations and building employee engagement and success.
This content was provided by Achievers, an UNLEASH sponsor.