Employee Engagement Depends on Strong HR Leadership

In today’s competitive climate, employee engagement remains a hot button issue for business leaders for good reason. It’s estimated that each disengaged employee costs its organization $2,246 in revenue per year.

From a big picture perspective, global employee engagement sits at an astonishingly low 15 percent, with the U.S. fairing slightly better at 30 percent. The take-away? HR Leaders everywhere are desperate for viable solutions to reverse this trend.

Fortunately, if you find that you’re struggling to understand your organization’s employee engagement woes, there are some proven ways to address the situation. To begin gaining traction with your employees, you must first determine why your employees are disengaging in the first place. To help you do that, we spoke with workplace guru Brandon Smith of The Workplace Therapist to break down workplace disengagement.

According to Smith, there are three major barriers to employee engagement that can lead employees to feeling uncared for in the workplace:

1. A 24/7 sense of urgency

In today’s always-connected workplace, employees can often feel rushed and confused – not knowing where to start when leaders neglect to set expectations and reasonable deadlines for job tasks.

“Lack of prioritization creates a constant expectation of a sense of urgency, causing high levels of anxiety,” explains Smith. Studies show that high anxiety in the workplace leads to poor performance and negatively affects work relationships.

2. Blurred work/life balance

The adoption of tech in the workplace has done wonders in terms of efficiency and the ability to streamline many functions. But if left unchecked, however, this can result in an employee mindset that it’s never okay to unplug.

“When it comes to technology in the workplace, an unspoken rule for people to check their email or do work while they’re on their own time causes burnout and workplace fatigue,” says Smith.

In fact, 45 percent of workers feel they must respond to email after hours. At a glance, it may seem harmless to send a few emails or complete a few tasks offline, but when employees aren’t able to find time to rest it leads them into the next area of disengagement.

3. Not having enough time

Employees are constantly juggling their personal and professional lives. If they continue to feel pressure for prolonged periods of time, it actually derails their productivity and wellbeing.

“Combining the pressure of 24/7 urgency and a blurred sense of work life balance creates a cycle of feeling like there is never enough time to complete work,” notes Smith.

“This leads to employees feeling defeated, and that is likely to start the disengagement cycle.”

But this cycle can be broken when leaders own their workplace environments. Forward-thinking leaders and innovative companies know that in today’s always-on world companies can lose control of employee happiness and engagement easily. That’s why it’s up to HR leaders to recognize when and why engagement is falling, so they can take action to rectify the situation.

Ready to get started? Read our Ultimate Guide to Employee Engagement for strategies you can use to measure and improve engagement in your organization.

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