Recent studies have shown a large percentage of disengagement among the American workforce, but a recent report contributes a worrisome conclusion to the statistics: over 60 percent of office workers, surveyed across the USA and Canada, reported that they would leave their current job if they experienced a feeling of disengagement, according to a release from OfficeTeam.
"When workers are disengaged, retention shouldn't be a company's only concern – productivity and customer service levels also suffer," stated Robert Hosking, the executive director of the firm.
And the statistics suggest that motivation – and the resulting productivity – is far from successful levels for many corporations. 26 percent of respondents reported that their company is ineffectual in terms of fostering motivation, and another 42 percent reported that their employer was only "somewhat effective."
A crisis of emotional detachment
OfficeTeam's findings are even more troublesome when compared with recent statistics displaying the all-encompassing amount of disengaged workers. Gallup conducts an ongoing study of the State of the American Workplace, and their latest findings had over 70 percent of respondents claiming that they felt disengaged with the work offered by their employer.
Gallup defines an engaged worker as "those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and contribute to their organization in a positive manner" – and those workers are becoming harder and harder to locate. Of the aforementioned 70 percent, 52 percent designated themselves as "not engaged," and 18 reported themselves "actively disengaged," which suggests a completely negative disposition to their work. Commenting on the effect of the disengagement, Gallup found that somewhere between $450 and $550 billion dollars were lost from the U.S. economy on a yearly basis, thanks to the loss of potential work. And worst of all, the problem doesn't seem to be improving.
"Having the vast majority of American employees not engaged with their workplaces is troublesome," the study said. "Workplace engagement levels have hardly budged since Gallup began measuring them in 2000, with fewer than one-third of Americans engaged in their jobs in any given year."
Keeping the workforce focused
Combined with OfficeTeam's findings, the low level of workforce engagement may cause a crisis among employees and managers. Especially for those overseeing highly competitive positions, like accounting jobs or finance jobs, creating an active level of engagement among employees is clearly an integral part of workforce retention.
However, the study also assures worried managers that hope isn't lost: accompanying the findings are a number of tips for fostering motivation among the workforce. For those struggling to create drive and ambition among workers, they recommend everything from discussing your staff's career goals openly to ordering catered lunches.