If you’re a business owner, chances are, you’ve experienced a period of crisis or two – even more. One crisis you may have faced is the employee engagement crisis in your organization.

I don’t know how about you, but I think such crisis is like cancer. It eats away everything, including your profits. I know, because I’ve experienced it before.

Disengaged employee

My mismanagement story

If you’re a long time visitor of Noobpreneur, you might be aware of the fact that I once owned two franchise units of a then-successful franchise brand. During my four years of franchise ownership, I’ve been through a leadership crisis that eventually leads to business failure.

I learned that my failure is due to my inability to manage my employees better. My employees were disengaged, and at that time, employee turnover was at all time high. I knew that I should do something about it, but if you were involved in franchising like me, you knew that there are some limitations when it comes to managing your own franchise units.

To avoid getting into irrelevant detail, let’s just say that I failed to understand that rules are sometimes meant to be broken. I tried to follow the headquarters’ suggestions on how to deal with my employees, even though I knew all along that it wasn’t right.

It turned out that I wasn’t the best fit for franchising. I enjoyed my freedom in running my business – and I didn’t get my freedom. Not only me, my employees didn’t get it, too.

Lessons learned

You’ve read in the journals and business publications that employees are your biggest asset. While I’m not entirely agree to the statement because I believe that employees are not objects, I truly agree that employees are your best business partners for success.

That said, make sure you truly treat them that way. Why? Because if you mismanage your partnership with your employees, then you mismanage your business. Your business will eventually fail, regardless of how cool your products and services are – if you can’t get out of the crisis. Yes, it’s that bad.

Indeed, when employee engagement crisis hits you, you’ll know sooner or later that the impact is devastating.

How devastating, exactly?

Consider these stats:

  • Lost productivity cost businesses more than $450 billion annually.
  • Only 13 percent of employees are engaged in the workplace – worldwide.
  • 51 percent of employees were disengaged, and 17 percent were actively disengaged.

The stats are quite mind-boggling; these lead us to one big question: What gives?

What causes employee disengagement

There are many causes for employee disengagement, but one major cause is faulty business practices:

  • The management doesn’t care about the well-being of the employees.
  • The management doesn’t empower employees to perform well in their job. Even if it does, there is no recognition for their collective efforts.
  • The management doesn’t provide adequate performance feedback, and even if the management does, the bosses don’t offer much of a help on how employees can be more productive.
  • The lack of growth vision and strategy.

So, how to deal with disengaged workforce?

Fortunately, hope is not lost. This infographic published by Clarizen offers you tips and best practices on how to fight against disengagement and nurture an engaged workforce:

Employee engagement crisis infographic by Clarizen

Takeaway

The aftermath of employee engagement crisis is devastating. It can be a lack of productivity, motivation and workplace happiness. But the worse is yet to come, which is declining sales and profits – and eventually, it’s the end, more sooner than later… unless you ‘repent’ from your foul ways, step into the light and start managing your workplace like you never done before.

Show leadership, and focus on your employees’ performance and well-being. Then you’ll eventually see results.

Good luck in your endeavor!