A recent Gallup Poll survey on employee engagement in the workplace produced some very disturbing results, especially to those of us who work in the field of employee recognition and appreciation.
The survey found that the majority of American workers across the board are not engaged in their jobs; more than 2/3s of workers – a whopping 71% – are not engaged in their current positions, with 19% of the workforce “actively disengaged.” These findings seem to stand-up across all age demographics, although the 65+ workers expressed more job engagement than any other segment. Income and gender had little effect on the statistics, though workers with only a high school education or less ranked 6 to 7% higher in terms of engagement than their more educated counterparts.
The complete Gallup Poll results provide more details that paint a pretty grim picture about the state of job satisfaction in the United States.
As the managing partner in a company that has been actively involved in promoting workplace satisfaction for nearly a century, I’m particularly troubled by the ‘actively disengaged’ 19%. What has happened to these men and women? Are they disenfranchised by our economy, the mortgage crisis and bleak new job prospects? Some would argue that at least these individuals have jobs.
To be an ‘actively disengaged’ employee tells me that these men and women have experienced disappointment within their work environments. Most employees start a work relationship hoping to succeed and contribute; yet for disengaged employees that desire to succeed has fizzled and been replaced with disillusionment. These individuals feel uninvolved, unappreciated, and uninvested. Perhaps these disengaged employees have watched their managers and supervisors scramble to keep their businesses afloat, yet these leaders have forgotten their most valuable resource – their own people?
But in my mind, an even bigger problem than concern over the actively disengaged employee is the fact that a remarkable two-thirds of the workforce is not fully engaged. Less than one in three employees is actively committed to the mission, vision, and values of their organization. Imagine what a business would look like – imagine what your business would look like – if you could move more employees into the ‘engaged’ category, where they are willing – no, eager – to invest their discretionary effort in that mission.
That’s what recognition strategies and employee appreciation gifts are ideally suited to achieve. The art & science of employee recognition and appreciation aims to empower business leaders with the tools and strategies needed to make workers feel good about their companies, about their work efforts, and about themselves. It focuses on changing mindsets, bringing together teams, motivating everyone towards excellence. Often times, it starts with a simple, intentional “Thank You. Your contribution makes a difference.”
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