Explore the Inner Workings of the Employee Mind

Disengaged employees cost the U.S. up to $550 billion in lost productivity each year, according to Gallup. But what's really behind this lack of motivation?
Employee Engagement

Employee engagement may be crucial, but it's not guaranteed. Supporting mindset and motivation requires constant care and attention. However, many companies still fail to evolve alongside their employees' needs and expectations.

But what's truly at the root of employee discontent and disengagement? We here at 1to1 Media, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, polled 511 U.S. consumers to understand how motivation, productivity, and praise impact job satisfaction. While it's logical to assume this trifecta plays an integral role when nurturing employee engagement, it's not set in stone. Judging by the results, it's safe to say that leaders must actively seek employee insight and apply this feedback accordingly if they hope to create an environment in which employees will thrive. Here's what we learned about the current state of employee engagement:

  • While 36 percent of all employees polled are 'somewhat motivated' at work, only 14 percent are 'extremely motivated' to perform their job.
  • On average, employees are praised for their work a few times per month. Less than 10 percent receive praise every day.
  • Only 24 percent of those polled believe there's a clear career growth path in place for them at their current job. Fifty percent say there isn't.
  • Fifty percent of employees feel their opinion counts at work. Thirty percent feel their opinion has little value on the job.
  • Forty-eight percent of employees believe their employer genuinely cares about their wellbeing. Twenty-seven percent don't think they're concerned at all.
  • One-third of respondents claim they're only rewarded for their work once or less per year, while nearly 25 percent can't recall the last time they were rewarded.
  • While most employees claim they're 'very well equipped' (39 percent) or 'somewhat equipped' (37 percent) with the necessary tools and resources to do their job, few are 'extremely well equipped' (14 percent).

Key takeaway: Overall, it's easy to see that, while many companies provide employees with the foundation required to succeed, most still have a long way to go. But, as Tore Haggren, senior vice president, voice of the employee for Confirmit, recently said, engagement often serves as an indicator of the current and future health of an organization, emphasizing the fact that leaders must nurture satisfaction to curb the symptoms of discontent. Moving forward, companies must hone the three elements that will motivate and excite employees throughout their organization: communicate clearly and concisely; listen to feedback and take action; and recognize knowledge and expertise. While it's important for leaders to open the pathways for clear communication, the conversation must go both ways. Just as the company must convey what's expected from its staff, employees must also have the freedom to share their grievances and influence change. Leaders must also reward employees to demonstrate value. Incentives might motivate employees to work toward certain goals, but praise that validates their worth within the overall company speaks volumes and can drive engagement for the long-term.

To download the 1to1 Media infographic, The Importance of Engaged Employees, go to http://go.1to1media.com/engage

Explore new ways to build an enthusiastic workforce by reading our latest article, 4 Innovative Ways to Boost Employee Engagement.