The State of Employee Disengagement

Survey Results provided by: Achievers 2015 North American workforce survey results –

Business greatness is the sum of employee successes, day in and day out. What makes employees successful?

It’s the same set of requirements for engaging employees.Employees are truly engaged when their needs beyond the basics of compensation and equipment are being met: the less tangible but critical needs for recognition, direction, inspiration and purpose.

Research shows that business success is driven by engaged employees. Engaged employees are the ones who know why they get up each morning to come to work. But the data shows us there are a few things missing. Our 2015 Workforce Survey asked employees in North America about their level of connection with core engagement factors, such as their company’s mission, their perceptions and experience of recognition at work, and their workplace culture. The results show that there’s a dramatic split.

For example, while close to half of today’s workforce might be passionate about their company’s mission, the larger half (57 percent) doesn’t find it inspiring at all. And that could explain why the survey also shows half of employees expect to be workiong for another employer as they look into the future one year from now.

Perspective is everything. Having a sense of purpose ignites employees’ intrinsic motivation. But for employees today, the bigger picture isn’t resonating.

Mission, vision and values

Most—57 percent—don’t find their company’s mission statement motivating. Which could be because they don’t know their company’s mission. Just 39 percent said they did. And only 40 percent knew the vision their company is striving toward. Cultural values fared equally poorly: 61 percent of employees reported not knowing their organization’s cultural values.

What about cultural fit?

More than half of employees aren’t engaged with the bigger picture and “whys” of the business. What about cultural fit? Is coming to work about the water-cooler culture? Nope. Only 44 percent of employees say they like their company’s culture. Not even half say they’re happy at work!

As the old adage goes, people join companies, but leave bad managers. The results don’t bode well for retention.

Only 45% trust their company’s leadership, and half don’t expect to be in their current job just one year from now.

Leadership and recognizing success And if recognition is any indicator, managers aren’t living up to the expectations of their employees. Specifically, 60 percent of employees reported not receiving in-the-moment feedback from their managers, while more than half of employees don’t feel recognized for their achievements at work. And 57 percent don’t feel recognized for progress toward achieving their goals. The deep desire for recognition is always there. Almost all employees hope to be recognized regularly, but just 41 percent said it’s occurring at their preferred frequency.

Tip: Managers who engage their employees can be a secret weapon.

Actual vs. preferred rate of recognition for work contributions

  • Preferred 0% Never
  • Once per year
  • Several times per year
  • Once per month
  • Once per week
  • Daily

What happens when companies recognize great work often? Bersin by Deloitte found, for example, that for organizations where recognition occurs, employee engagement, productivity and customer service are approximately 14 percent better than companies without recognition.

It’s no surprise employees are asking, “Should I stay or should I go?”
The future of retention reflects the lackluster connection employees
feel with their workplace: Only half of employees expect to be with
their organizations a year from now.

What’s missing?

It’s unlikely half of your workforce isn’t doing anything worthwhile while
at work. The truth is most eorts—even minimal eorts—are valuable and
make a difference. But without momentum, purpose and inspiration, the
disconnection only grows. It’s a negative snowball eect.
Small steps lead to great accomplishments, but employees need to see
that they’re headed somewhere. Recognizing daily eorts—the great little
things happening all the time, the stu that’s done right or is on the right
track—adds up. It enables employees to see the value in what they’re
doing and why.

Recognition is the biggest opportunity in business, because what you get is an engaged workforce. And an engaged workforce is a powerful force.


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