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We’ve learned several lessons about healthy work culture due to the pandemic’s effects on the workplace. One of the issues that continue to worsen is employee engagement. Accordingly, a recent Gallup poll reports a pattern of declining engagement, with only 32% of full and part-time employees reporting themselves as “engaged.” 17% of those polled described themselves as “actively disengaged.”
The “engagement trap” is sprung over the first five years of employment, with research from Leadership IQ reporting that the percentage of highly engaged employees at an organization can drop from 37% to 22%. Also, the percentage of actively disengaged employees often doubles in that time.
Recruiters would prefer that their candidates retain their positive attitude when entering a new role. With these statistics in mind, here are a few suggestions for both recruiters and employers regarding the employee engagement trap.
Identify the Problem: Consider the “Three Factors for Job Misery”
Patrick M. Lencioni’s book, “The Truth About Employee Engagement: A Fable About Addressing the Three Root Causes of Job Misery,” identifies three factors that cause job misery.
First is anonymity, where an employee feels invisible and underappreciated. Second is irrelevance, defined as “not seeing the connection between their work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people.” Finally, Lencioni names a factor he coined himself “immeasurement,” or lacking the ability to measure one’s progress.
Lencioni advises employers to start by taking a personal interest in their employees as people. For instance, most employees see a bump in self-fulfillment by feeling “known” to their employer. To illustrate, employees don’t feel anonymous when an employer recognizes birthdays, remembers news about their families, and validates their hobbies.
Additionally, reminders that employees are serving others and not only themselves present opportunities for workers to regain touch. When people see their work’s effects, they’re less likely to feel “irrelevant.” Moreover, every employee should be able to answer, “Who am I helping and how am I helping?” As an employer, you can offer them a foundation to arrive at that answer.
Revisit Past Recruits
The candidates you helped through the hiring process years ago are an invaluable resource for disarming the employee engagement trap for incoming candidates. For instance, ask them about their frustrations, what motivated and discouraged them, and ask them to describe what about their job didn’t live up to the expectations they had during recruitment. Afterward, when you have this research, apply it to realistically shaping incoming recruits’ expectations.
Furthermore, you might also want to look at your recruiting data. What’s the state of your referrals? If you find that referrals from employees are at an all-time low, this may be a sign that employees are feeling so underappreciated that they wouldn’t wish their job on anyone and refuse to refer someone.
Once you’ve located the problem areas with employee engagement, you can persuade management to participate in dedicated employee engagement initiatives. In a word, dissatisfied employees cost far more money and time than investing in a healthy, engaged workforce.
At Strategic Recruitment Solutions, your success is our success. Our reputation for client satisfaction results from our commitment to clients’ objectives and beyond. We are the legal and tech recruiting firm for top employers in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and the Gulf Region. Our focus is on building a long-term relationship with companies that employ the highest-quality professionals. Call us today at 888-366-6508. We can help you find the best fit to join a legal or IT team.