According to a State of the Global Workplace Report by Gallup in 2017, only 15% of full-time workers in the world actually feel engaged, highly involved and enthusiastic at work. On the other hand, a similar study from the same year by Aon Hewitt, entitled: Trend in Global Employee Engagement report, argues that about 60% of employees are in fact engaged in their jobs. Despite this conflicting data, the two studies do agree on another issue: these percentages are getting worse, and something needs to be done to improve them.
Employee engagement is an important issue in a company, because people who are engaged and love their work are more creative, more productive, and care about the impact of their jobs, the fate of the projects they work on and the company itself. In contrast, an employee with little or no level of engagement will only do the bare minimum to just about meet managers’ and executives’ expectations, ruining the performance of the whole team in an unstoppable domino effect. In addition, when someone feels unfulfilled at work, the feeling often tends to spill over into that person’s private and personal life, creating a vicious cycle of decline that is difficult to stop.
Yet many studies have shown that fundamentally, every employee has a natural interest in making their job work well, and would like to be appreciated. Just think of the good intentions and excitement we have all no doubt felt at least once at the start of a new job. So, if every employee has a natural instinct to make a positive impact with their work, how do the engagement figures end up being so low? What happens in the company every day, and what is it, exactly, that ruins the relationship employees have with their work? Asking questions to understand what triggers this downhill slope is crucial to understanding and remedying it.
The answer can be found in the way company executives and partners view their work, compared to employees, and ultimately in the historical roots of the entire system that work is based on.