I recently reviewed some new data from Gallup. The title of the article really got me concerned. “Worldwide, 13 percent of employees are engaged at work.” I had to read it again … “No way!” I thought to myself as I continued to read. My company is different, right? Take an honest look at this:

  • 13 percent are psychologically committed to their jobs and are likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations.
  • 63 percent are “not engaged,” meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organizational goals or outcomes.
  • 24 percent are “actively disengaged,” indicating that they are unhappy and unproductive at work AND liable to spread negativity to co-workers.

If you have an office of 20 team members, it is possible that two to three are actively engaged, 12-13 lack the motivation needed to do better and four to five are actually a detriment to the business. That is just shocking to me that the numbers are so slanted towards the negative. While this is a worldwide study, the numbers for the United States are not much better:

  • 29 percent actively engaged
  • 54 percent not engaged
  • 18 percent actively disengaged

If you are an employee, you have work to do. Find ways to move up the list. If you need help, I would be more than happy to help. If you are an employer, rather than looking down at the team and blaming them, find ways to improve the working conditions so that they can become more engaged. One great way is to look at ways to improve the work/life balance. Ask yourself these questions about your team:

  1. Can they leave the office for the weekend without being connected to email, voicemail or some other form of communication, and not feel guilty about it?
  2. Can you accept that your team has a life outside the office including family, friends, hobbies and interests that have nothing to do with the company?
  3. Do they feel guilty when they only work eight hours?
  4. Do you let them leave early after they have put in their required hours?
  5. Can they support a philanthropic cause, even during the workday?
  6. Do they feel encouraged to stay in touch with their family during the workday, provided it does not take away from their work output?

Imagine working at a place such as this. Imagine your company turning into a place like this. According to Jim Bird, publisher of worklifebalance.com, there are some very helpful statistics:

  1. The question was asked, “How important is work/life balance?” Of those polled, 69 percent rated it a nine or a 10. The average rating was 8.9.
  2. Then they asked, “To what degree does your employer provide for work/life balance?” Only 39 percent rated their employers a nine or a 10. The average rating was 7.8.

If you want to engage your team, think about them, their interests, their desires and their dreams. It’s a safe bet that they want a good balance of work and life. Start there and see what happens.

Immediately after completing this, write down three things that you could improve upon with your team. Whether you are the one that can make the changes, or the one that would like the changes, then send them to me and I can keep you accountable for this. Change comes with some encouragement from others.

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