employee disengagement

The Pandemic Of Disengagement



Employee engagement is a term that gets thrown around often, particularly during these times of upheaval caused by the pandemic, and the associated move to a hybrid working model.

While it may seem like another management buzzword to many, the implications of having a disengaged workforce are serious not only for a company but for the wellbeing of individual employees as well.

The most recent findings from an analytics and advisory firm Gallup have reported that a mere 20% of employees globally are engaged in their current job[1]. This means a staggering 80% of all employees worldwide are not engaged at work.

In Australia, actively disengaged employees are estimated to cost the Australian economy more than $2 billion each year. From the perspective of the organisation, it costs them an estimated 34% of each disengaged employees salary each year in productivity loss[2]. And from the perspective of the employee, disengaged workplaces have been found to predict an increase in mental health problems such as anxiety and depression[3].

Addressing employee disengagement will benefit society at all levels. Employees will be happier and more motivated in the areas they spend most of their waking life – at work. Companies will report higher revenue – research notes companies with engaged employees are 21% more profitable[4]. Society will also benefit via a reduced cost to the economy.

On a subjective level, would you rather run a company where your employees love to come to work or one where they dread each weekday?

There are many warning signs your employees are disengaged, and thankfully a lot of them are observable. Low participation during team meetings, a cynical attitude, apathy, absenteeism, and a decline in work quality are amongst the more noticeable[5]. If you have noticed any of these signs at your company – chances are your employees and potentially your organisation is struggling with disengagement, which is costing you growth.

There are several ways you can boost engagement within your company:

  • Place the right people in the right roles. A key driver of disengagement is placing the wrong person in the wrong role. Using tools such as the ProfileXT Psychometric Assessment enables you to identify how well a candidate or employee fits an open role. It enables you to benchmark each role to identify the ideal trait levels required for success, and then compare candidates or employees to these role benchmarks to identify their likelihood of success in the role, how likely they are to enjoy it, and therefore how likely they are to be engaged. This ensures they can do the job, they will do the job, and they will enjoy doing the job.
  • Provide Effective Training and Coaching. Another driver of poor engagement is a lack of support and resources provided for employees to succeed. By investing in your employees, listening to them, and providing them with the appropriate coaching, you can ensure they feel supported and have all the resources they need to realise their goals. This can be achieved by using tools such as Psychometric Assessments, which provide an objective and actionable basis for development, celebrating their strengths and providing guidance for targeted ongoing professional development.
  • Focus on leadership development at all levels, not just at senior executive levels. Providing strong and inspiring leadership that employees can trust is a good way to boost engagement at the company. This can be achieved by ongoing consultation sessions and leadership team workshops, supplemented with feedback collected from employees via 360-degree surveys and psychometric leadership assessments.
  • Provide, and act on Engagement Surveys. Mention an engagement survey to many employees in a large organisation and they will inevitably groan or roll their eyes. These are brilliant tools when used correctly, however, the reason for this response is that often these surveys aren’t customised to the organisation, and feedback is rarely translated into action. Using platforms such as MultiRater Surveys ensures all questions are customised directly to the requirements of the organisation, making it more relevant and easier for management to act on responses. By consulting firms such as Peoplogica on the results, you can ensure you are able to act on these findings with confidence, so you can address the key underlying drivers of poor engagement within your company. Employees will be more enthusiastic in providing honest and valuable insights when they know their feedback is taken on board, and their engagement will increase as they see the company is trying to address their concerns.

If you found yourself reading through this article noting some similarities to how your employees have been behaving at work, get in touch with our team and we can assist you in boosting your company engagement and by extension, your profitability.


[1] https://www.gallup.com/workplace/349484/state-of-the-global-workplace.aspx 

[2] https://procurementandsupply.com/2019/09/how-smarter-hiring-can-help-australias-disengaged-employee-epidemic

[3] https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/127100/disengagement-really-depressing.aspx

[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/07/14/why-high-employee-engagement-results-in-accelerated-revenue-growth/?sh=336a679c597b

[5] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2018/11/30/12-signs-your-employee-is-disengaging-and-how-to-respond/?sh=7c9d120c2928

Written by Michael Mancinone

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