The Importance Of Connection & Engagement At Work
Why employers should care if their employees are feeling engaged at work
Olivia Curtis, G&A Partners’ wellness specialist, recently shared her thoughts on the impact of employee engagement and connection in the workplace from a wellness perspective.
This article originally appeared on Inc.com. To read the full article on the Inc. website, click here.
“According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace poll, 70 percent of employees are not ‘engaged’ at work and 18 percent are ‘actively disengaged’,” Curtis said. “This suggests that only about 30 percent of employees feel engaged, connected and enjoy their employment which, sadly, is one of the highest percentages that Gallup has found over the years. We hope to see this number increase going forward as companies continue their efforts to improve employee connection and belonging.”
According to Curtis, the main problems are that the workforce is so widespread, large and multi-generational. It can be extremely challenging to overcome not only logistics, but also differences in beliefs and behaviors. Nevertheless, we can overcome with a few main pillars in our battle framework.
- If connection involves working together toward a shared purpose, guess how critical your company mission becomes.
As Curtis points out, employees are going to have a hard time connecting to your mission–and thus, to each other–if they don’t know what it is. If you truly want a community-like culture and a united workforce, you have to make your vision and values clearly visible and communicate them without ambiguity.
- Connection doesn’t happen without trust.
“Employees want to feel heard and understood by their peers and management,” Curtis says, “so make sure that there are open lines of communication your staff can feel comfortable using to share their thoughts, ideas and feedback. Likewise, management should look for opportunities to ask for feedback from employees and be open about sharing company information, trends, changes, etc. […]. Employees will pick up on these efforts to create a more collaborative culture and start to feel more invested in your company’s business outcomes.”
- Do whatever you can to build positivity and fun into the culture.
Organizing events or activities that foster camaraderie–for example, picnics, employee spotlights or company-wide challenges–are an easy way to let people get to know each other and learn about how everyone contributes to the company mission.