Has the workplace changed in the past year in a post-pandemic era? One new poll says yes, and it is causing the ‘Great Disconnection,’ which is costing corporations trillions of dollars. Let’s look at what has transpired and what needs to happen next.
According to findings from a Robert Walters poll, white-collar workers in the United States are facing a ‘Disengagement Crisis’ where nearly half of white-collar workers express their workplace has become unrecognizable in the past 12 months. This includes high staff turnover, less people coming to the office, and a big drop off in team socials. This has led to 53% of U.S. professionals feeling disengaged from work.
This comes at a challenging time, as the economic outlook is bleak, and many companies need their employees to get the work done. However, the reality is disengaged employees cost the global community due to lost productivity, absenteeism, and workflow disruption. In fact, Gallup puts the exact number at $7.8 trillion lost.
There are a few solutions here that we can discuss.
Pay more. Annual wage increases of +4.8% in the United States this year have surpassed earlier predictions. A survey by Pearl Meyer found a quarter of employers offering wage increases over +6% in attempts to retain staff. Despite such wage increases employers cannot keep up with the soaring rate of inflation.
Consider employee wellbeing. This is something Peggy Smedley spoke about on The Peggy Smedley Show last week, giving the tip that we need to ask current workers what it is they want. What better way to retain workers and find new ones than to survey them to better understand what they want out of a career. Some may want mentorship while others may want flexibility or more mental health days.
Focus on management. Businesses can create a leadership plan for better supporting their employees. In fact, Erudit compiled people analytics and discovered a few high-risk employee profiles from the data. Once management understands and employee profile then they can put specific tools and tactics in place to help retain the staff.
A closer look at a few of the employee profiles shows a workaholic is someone who exhibits excessive engagement that may indicate work addiction—which can leave stress high and put them at great risk of burnout. The solution is to limit the number of tasks given to them to ensure a sense of completion, instead of the feeling that they’re chasing the next assignment. Productivity will increase as well.
Someone who is detached does their work, but they are less motivated and engaged. They prefer to work autonomously and are not typically stressed. A leader who has this type of employee should give them autonomy to organize their schedules and tasks, which builds trust and increases their confidence and satisfaction.
As another example, a dissatisfied employee often doesn’t feel like their work has purpose and are therefore unmotivated. While they have low risk of burnout, they are also less engaged. Leaders should adapt incentives to fit an individual worker’s wants and needs. Every employee won’t be motivated by the same rewards program.
This is perhaps the biggest takeaway from all these surveys and all this research: Create individualized incentives to ensure employees feel their needs are valued. This will give them more reason to reach for higher performance, ultimately improving worker satisfaction and the bottomline. What are you doing to retain employees?
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