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20 Problems Linked to Employee Disengagement


Comments (2)

Randy Steer
Randy Steer said:
Thoughtful and thought-provoking.

1, 2, & 6 -- Employee satisfaction and turnover both have an indirect impact on an organization's ability to even HIRE, let alone RETAIN, the people they want. Word gets around, now more than ever through social media, and results of workplace surveys are also increasingly published -- "best places to work" surveys, the Federal Employee Viewpoint survey, etc.

5 -- "Contagion" doesn't just come from bad attitudes rubbing off. The first few people or indications can be the canaries in a coal mine -- they may be the ones who "gave up" the earliest, but whatever it is in the environment that contributed to the first "disengagees" may affect more people later, without relying on any "rubbing-off". What looks like contagion could just be more of the iceberg emerging.

7 -- Collaboration is more than just a potential casualty of disengagement. It can be a potent factor in KEEPING employees engaged. It's a form of inoculation against disengagement.

14 (and 8) -- Empowerment is certainly important, but it is not something that technology can do a lot about. One case of empowerment is employee input, which you discussed in Point 8. Employees will only continue to give input if they see that input being taken seriously and acted upon. That is empowerment, and it's something management has to do -- no social-business suite can do it *for* management.

The things that you mention in 14 (feeling like one is doing good work, enjoying one's job) are really about engagement, not empowerment per se. Empowerment comes from a sense of self-direction, a feeling of being able to influence one's own work environment and tasks. And ultimately, letting people "own their work" requires open, flexible management and supervisors who are focused on employees as individuals rather than as cogs in a machine. Social business tools can give those great managers good channels of communication, but the great managers have to be there first.

Finally, note that a good social-business tool can be a means for MONITORING the organization's engagement levels. it not only helps to boost engagement, but careful (not heavy-handed) use of surveys, Q&A, discussions, and blog-posts with comments can all help keep management's finger on the pulse of employee engagement.
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Hi Randy. Thanks for taking the time to leave a very detailed comment. You add a lot of additional value to this post. I'm sure the readers will appreciate that. Thanks again.
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