Low employee engagement reflects bad management, not bad people.
And – judging by Financial Times data on widespread quiet quitting (low engagement by a new name) – bad management is widespread.
This presents a huge opportunity for organisations and leaders who can engage their people. Why?
The FT chart below shows that most workers are now quiet quitters. Or – put another way – most of the world’s workforce is disengaged.
Disengaged people do the minimum requirements of their job and put in little discretionary effort.
Whereas engaged people are motivated to go above and beyond. So much so that Harvard Business Review reports that highly engaged people are more than twice as productive as satisfied people. And more than three times more productive than dissatisfied people.
Engaging your organisation or team therefore presents two major competitive advantages in a world of quiet quitting:
- Your people will be two to three times more productive than those of your competitors. Imagine what it would feel like to triple the horsepower available for tackling your organisation’s most pressing opportunities and challenges.
- You can attract and retain the best people in the labour market. People still need to work. So quiet quitters will be scanning the market for better job opportunities. The few high engagement organisations will therefore take their pick of the best talent from the many low engagement organisations.
So, how do you engage your workforce? That’s the million dollar question. Quite literally… the median full time salary in Australia is about $80,000 pa… so, if you have a team of six or more people, you could add $1 million of tripled productivity just by increasing engagement.
The problem we’ve observed with employee engagement is that the case for doing so is clear, but advice on how to do it is anything but.
There’s lots of high level guidance on what engages people (e.g. create a sense of purpose, be a caring manager, have conversations etc.). But this falls short of providing practical advice on the concrete steps a leader can and must take day to day (how do you start creating a sense of purpose?).
This gap between the abstract and the concrete is where most organisations fall down between engagement ambitions and outcomes.
That’s why we’re developing the Impact Society engagement framework. It will provide practical advice on the simple actions leaders can take daily, weekly and quarterly to drive engagement.
If you want to learn more about our framework, please join our mailing list, where we’ll keep you posted on the framework’s development and launch.