4 Reasons Why Your Employees Are Sleepwalking Through the Day

As a CEO or a business leader it should be clear by now that your people are one of your strongest assets - they get the job done and their hard work keeps your business moving forward. It shouldn't be a surprise to learn that their levels of engagement should be high if your business is going to thrive - so why is it that so many employees are disengaged and what can we do about it?

Research by Aon Hewitt found that in 2017, only 62% of employees in Asia Pacific were engaged in their workplaces - that's down 3 points from their 2016 report. To define 'engaged', Aon Hewitt used a three pronged approach.

They wanted to know if employees:

  • Say positive things about their organisation and act as advocates
  • Intend to stay at their current organisation for a long period of time
  • Are motivated to strive to give their best efforts to help the organisation to succeed

If the surveyed employees responded negatively to these statements they were considered to be disengaged.

So, what exactly is causing this disengagement and how can organisations turn it around?

Overwhelmed and confused - It's not easy to be engaged with your work when you feel overwhelmed and unsure of what exactly you should be doing. There are plenty of employees who feel this way and this feeling is heightened when they don't feel like they can approach their manager for guidance - authentic relationships with managers and effective onboarding experiences can help to combat this roadblock in the engagement process.

Lack of development opportunities - Gallup found that a whopping 87% of millennials want professional development and career growth opportunities but Aon Hewitt found that these kind of opportunities were not being provided. The solution? Simply respond to the needs of your employees! Create opportunities regularly for them to stretch their muscles and grow and check in to ensure that they are satisfied with their professional development.

Can't see the big picture - Do your employees know where they fit in the grand scheme of things? This is the kind of thing that needs to be addressed early on, preferably in the onboarding process. Employees need to know that their role is important and what they're working towards, in a larger sense. A sense of purpose is important when it comes to wellbeing and a healthy wellbeing is key for engagement levels.

Not being rewarded or recognised - employees want to be able to own their work. If they are never recognised or rewarded for a job well done, it is easy for employees to feel as though the work they're doing isn't appreciated. According to Gallup, rewarding and recognising employees doesn't actually have to be a high-cost affair - it's as simple as crafting "honest, authentic and individualised" recognition.

There's no denying that engagement is a huge factor when it comes to retaining employees and fixing your employee's engagement doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg - it's as simple as responding to their needs.

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Greg Weiss is one of Australia’s most renowned career coaches. He is the author of “So You Got A Job, WTF Is Next”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7 step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf/

He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.

Greg also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.