Employee Engagement: Do You Understand the Big Picture?

by Dr. Rick Goodman on November 8, 2017

Employee engagement remains a lively topic among today’s leaders, coaches, and HR professionals—a topic that invites plenty of nuanced discussion, but also demands a big-picture view.

Let’s start with some simple facts and figures: About what percentage of the workforce would you say is truly engaged? According to a recent Gallup survey, the picture is pretty grim. Forbes summarizes: “According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, only 15 percent of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs – meaning that they are emotionally invested in committing their time, talent and energy in adding value to their team and advancing the organization’s initiatives.”

And that’s not all. “More Gallup research shows that employee disengagement costs the United States upwards of $550 billion a year in lost productivity,” Forbes continues.

These are obviously not very good numbers. Employees represent a company’s most precious assets—and if your employees aren’t engaged, it means you’re neither taking care of them properly nor getting as much out of them as you could, plain and simple.

It might help to consider employee engagement across a few different categories. First, there are engaged employees—roughly 15 percent of the workforce, if Gallup is to be believed. These are the team members who are emotionally committed. They excel at what they do, and their talents are leveraged fully.

Then there are those who are simply not engaged; Gallup estimates that about 67 percent of the workforce fits into this category. These are the employees who do the bare minimum. They don’t cause problems, per se, but neither do they have any sense of mission or of goals.

“They are less likely to be customer-focused and are not concerned about productivity or company profitability,” Forbes says. “These team members are both a threat and great opportunity – because with the proper approach, they can be transformed into engaged employees that thrive in the organization.”

Finally, representing about 18 percent of the workforce, there are those employees who are actively disengaged—those who have basically checked out. They are negative, they are toxic, and they are probably not redeemable; frankly, you’re better of removing them from your team as soon as you can.

It’s worth considering your own team in this light. How would you categorize each employee? Are their employees who are not engaged, but could be brought around? Are their employees who should simply be terminated? Or are you already doing a great job keeping your team inspired, motivated, and emotionally invested?

Take some time to think about the answers to these questions. That will provide you with some direction for your future efforts at employee engagement.

Dr. Rick Goodman CSP is a thought leader in the world of leadership and one of the most sought after conference keynote speakers on leadership, engagement, and business growth in the United States and internationally.

He is the author of the books Living A Championship Life “A Game Plan for Success” and My Team Sucked “10 Rules That Turned Them Into Rock Stars.” He is also the co-author of the book Jamie’s Journey: Travels with My Dad, written with his sixteen-year-old daughter Jamie.

Dr. Rick is famous for helping organizations, corporations, and individuals with systems, strategies, and solutions that encourage engagement, resulting in increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micromanaging the process. Some of Dr. Rick’s clients include Heineken, AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Franklin Templeton Investments.

You can contact Dr. Rick at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.

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Dr. Rick GoodmanEmployee Engagement: Do You Understand the Big Picture?