For most of human history employers haven’t really had to think about employee engagement.
Less than 100 years ago in the UK, most jobs were manual, mass unemployment was high and quality of living was low.
This meant that even if employers has zero interest in the quality of work they were providing, they could still rely on hordes of people lining up for jobs.
Employee engagement could be ignored yet employment and productivity levels would stay up.
Thanks to technology and other factors, the job landscape in the UK couldn’t look any different.
Although we believed technology would destroy our jobs, it’s created more.
In May 2022 the BBC reported that unemployment rates were the lowest they had been in 50 years and that, for the first time since records began, there were more job vacancies than unemployed people.
Not only do we have more jobs, but our jobs are decreasingly manual and increasingly service or creativity based.
When people have an abundance of job choices available to them and they are required to be creative, employee engagement becomes essential.
If people don’t feel valued at and enjoy their work, they’ll leave.
They’ll share their dissatisfaction with others and won’t recommend the company as a place to work.
What did leading data collection company Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workforce find UK Employee Engagement levels to be?
9% of employees in the UK enjoy and feel valued in their jobs.
91% of employees in the UK don’t.
This is despite billions being spent to improve employee engagement.
So what needs to change?
The most widely adopted approaches to improving employee engagement are surveying our workforces and providing perks.
What’s less widely adopted is training and supporting leaders and managers in engagement and wellbeing.
Being a leader or manager can be a challenging role with managers and leaders often struggling with poor health and burnout.
If a manager is disengaged, their team members are 3 x more likely to be disengaged.
If we truly want to start better supporting our people, improving our businesses and our country, we need to better support our managers.
When managers are provided with training, resources and support to improve and maintain their health and engagement levels as well as those they support, engagement levels can be improved meaningfully and sustainably.
Without this essential step, no amount of surveys or perks are going to make any difference, as Gallups 2022 state of the workforce demonstrates.
Let’s stop wasting time and money on quick-fix solutions that don’t work and start giving our people the development and support they need.
People, businesses and our country are Better Happy.