Disengagement in the workplace, and the $415 billion dollars it costs the global economy each year, has become an outright epidemic. According to “360 Steelcase Global Report: Engagement and the Global Workplace,” 37% of employees worldwide are highly or somewhat disengaged at work, with the majority of the others surveyed falling somewhere on the low- to middle-end of the curve. In fact, of the more than 12,000 individuals surveyed, just 13% report being both highly engaged and highly satisfied with their organization and workplace.
What we can learn
Rather than collectively throwing up our hands, there are 9 key metrics leaders can learn from and begin to monitor in their own organizations. Based on insights from that 13% and how this group of engaged employees feel about their jobs, their futures and themselves in relationship to their work, leaders can work to grow positive sentiments in the office. Because with increased engagement comes greater productivity, and finally, a healthier bottom line.
9 metrics you should care about
If you want to move the needle on engagement in your workplace, pay attention to the things that highly engaged and highly satisfied employees have in common:
1. Feeling connected to other employees
97% report feeling a connection with their colleagues. Friendships and positive relationships at work open the doorway to trust, which leads to an increase in open sharing and more productive collaboration. Leaders, be on the lookout for ways to build relationships through natural, social interactions in the office, as well as planned moments for social and work-related collisions.
2. Happiness about going to work
No doubt nearly everybody has mornings they’d like to sleep in, but generally speaking, the mention of “work” should bring about happy, contented feelings — not stomach churning and gloom. It’s worth noting that of those surveyed, 97% of the most highly engaged and highly satisfied workers report feeling happy to come to the office each day. So pay attention to the mood of your office and try to plan moments of surprise and delight to capture your team’s heart and sow increased happiness.
3. Pride in their company
The most highly engaged of those surveyed feel proud of their company and to be associated with it. This pride may be fueled by shared passion, belief in the mission or vision of the organization, or sheer love of the job. Regardless of the reason, feeling pride in one’s work remains critical to employee satisfaction and engagement.
4. Are intrinsically motivated
People say that you can’t teach passion. We’d add that you can’t teach motivation, either. Whether people are spurred by recognition, job titles, new opportunities, visibility within the company, salary, bonuses or something else, what we do know is that 97% of the world’s most engaged and satisfied workers say they are motivated by what they do.
5. Feel a sense of personal achievement
Highly engaged workers take pride not only in their company, but in their contributions. They feel a sense of personal achievement, that they’re part of something larger than themselves, and that their work matters. In fact, 96% of the most highly engaged and highly satisfied identify with this sentiment, signifying to leaders that helping to create opportunities for and acknowledging personal achievements may be crucial to team dynamics.
6. They value their company’s culture
Great culture is a powerful factor for hiring and retaining workers, and even achieving business goals. We’ve all heard the saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Because our generation spends more time working than doing anything else, it’s critical for workers to feel a natural connection to and affection for their teammates. Those connections, as well as shared moments and shared efforts, create the “vibe” that sets your group apart from the one down the hall. Intentionally fostering a great culture is not only important to results, it’s an important factor in employee engagement.
7. They’re brand evangelists
Loving your brand and believing in the work you’re doing makes it easy to share your zeal with others. Of those surveyed in the 360 Global Report, 95% say they’d recommend their company as an employer. If you’re a leader, do some work to investigate this sentiment — and then ask yourself what you can do to improve your company’s internal image in order to boost engagement.
8. Belief in the company’s strategy and direction
This measurement is tied to several of the others above, including having pride in the company and being a brand evangelist for your organization. But belief in the company’s strategy and direction take it one step further, suggesting you’re aligned with where and how leadership is driving the proverbial “bus.” It also suggests that wherever that bus is going, you’re enthusiastically along for the ride — which 94% of highly engaged employees are.
9. Optimism around their personal future with their company
Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves, especially when that “something” involves opportunities for personal growth and higher earning potential. 93% of the most highly engaged and highly satisfied employees report feeling optimistic about their personal future at their organization, which means motivation has been met with open doors and green lights from key stakeholders.