(Time to read this important Blog article is about 2 minutes)

Employee engagement is a hot topic these days…and so it should be.  Imagine, the positive impact on your business and your bottom line if you could increase the number of fully engaged employees on your Team and get rid of the non-performers. 

Employees who are not fully engaged in their job, or the commitments of the business, carry a huge cost in inefficiency, low company morale, customer retention and profitability. Employees who are actively disengaged are toxic and destructive.  Sadly, you may have more of these people than you think.

Here are some shocking statistics from the ‘State of the Global Workplace’ report from international research and consulting firm, Gallup Inc. 

First, let’s start with 3 simple definitions:

  1. ‘Fully engaged’ employees:  Employees who are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. They drive performance and innovation, and are committed to the success of the company.
  2. ‘Not engaged’ employees:  These employees are psychologically unattached from their work and the company.  They’re just putting in time and don’t care about their job, the customer or the success of the company.
  3. ‘Actively disengaged’ employees:  These employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re resentful that their needs aren’t being met and they’re acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these employees are actively undermining the business and the accomplishments of others.

Now for the shocking numbers…according to Gallup Inc:

  1. In Western Europe only 10% of employees are fully engaged, 71% are not engaged and 19% are actively disengaged.  
  2. In Australia only 14% of employees are fully engaged, 71% are not engaged and 15% are actively disengaged.
  3. In the USA and Canada 31% of employees are fully engaged, 52% are not engaged and 17% are actively disengaged.

What these survey numbers don’t address is the possible causes of this shocking lack of engagement.  The causes could be:

  1. Cultural attitudes about work in certain societies.
  2. Government’s generous economic safety nets for its citizens that destroy drive, commitment and initiative.
  3. Uncaring or incompetent managers who create a toxic business culture, hire inappropriate people, fail to train and lead effectively, don’t measure performance, don’t communicate effectively, don’t listen…and don’t deal with non-performance.

To download my insightful Business Tool #B-21 on ’13 reasons for staff not performing …and whose fault are they?’  Click Here.

What might the employee engagement numbers look like in your business or department?  If you’re paying attention, you probably have a pretty good sense of who’s really engaged, committed and productive…and who’s not. Take a few minutes to make a list of who in your business or department is:

  1. a) clearly committed to excellence and growth,
  2. b) who’s just putting in time…and
  3. c) who’s toxic or destructive.

Then, how will you thank, reward and celebrate those who are making a major contribution?  How will you challenge, engage and inspire those who are disengaged…or terminate them if they can’t be rescued?  And how will you properly document the non-performance and toxicity of the ‘actively disengaged’ and get them out the door as quickly as possible?   One of the biggest problems in many businesses today is the failure to deal with non-performance.

How might we improve our culture to increase engagement?  Start by asking your Team for their thoughts on how your culture and operations can be improved to improve clarity, efficiency, joy and accountability.  How do you go about having such a conversation? Sit down with each person on your Team and ask them a series of simple questions such as:

  • What’s the best part about working here?
  • If this were your business, what would you change about it?
  • What are we doing that makes absolutely no sense to you?
  • What aren’t we doing that we should be?
  • What do you need that we aren’t giving you?
  • What’s making your job difficult or frustrating?
  • What can I do to make your job go more smoothly?
  • What can we do to make things better for our customers?
  • What can we do to make things better for our Team?
  • Would you recommend us to a friend looking for a job?

Remember, your front-line people know stuff and they hate it when you don’t ask.

Once you ask a question, just listen.  Suspend judgement and don’t argue with their point of view.  Then, to dig deeper into their comments, ask follow-up questions such as:

  • Can you tell me more about what you mean?
  • Can you give me an example?
  • Exactly how did that come about?
  • How could we have handled that better?

Imagine, the positive impact on your business and your bottom line if you could increase the number of fully engaged employees on your Team and get rid of the non-performers.  How will you use the insights in this Blog to make that happen?  I look forward to hearing about your successes.


For info about booking Donald to deliver his bottom-line insights on management, marketing and profitability at an Industry Conference or Corporate Event…or to discus our Business Coaching program, contact us at donald@donaldcooper.com or by phone at 1 (416) 252-3703 in Toronto, Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for Donald's Free!
"Straight Talk" Business Coach Blog

Sign up to get valuable and insightful tips weekly!
Simple Share ButtonsIt's only fair to share
Simple Share Buttons