Do employers hire employees who are already disengaged or do the employees who were hired later become disengaged after working at the company for some time? Obviously, an employee is engaged enough to work on their cover letter, resume, and actually seek out a job pertaining to their interests, and put on some nice clothing, so they must be somewhat engaged. They have enough interest in the company to want to work for it and they certainly have some desire to make money, so employees likely do start out completely engaged in the workplace. Unfortunately, a mere paycheck is not always enough to keep an employee engaged forever.
Over time this engagement tends to shrink and employees become less motivated to engage in the day-to-day activities of their job, whether they are no longer willing to put in 100% of the work, or they no longer do their jobs with a smile, or they no longer make any effort to care about what they do. There are any number of factors as to why this could be happening including no employee feedback, no company engagement with the employee, no bonus or raises or the review for one, or lack of room for growth or improvement in the company. The company may also not give the employee a voice, ignoring potential suggestions that could actually improve company performance. Regardless, something happened along the way of working for the company that caused a once engaged employee to lose motivation and become completely disengaged and it is part of the company's job to figure out why that employee is now disengaged and to either let them go or re-engage them.
Many companies prefer to blame the employee and usually end up putting the employee on probation or outright firing the employee, not understanding that the company themselves may have actually been the ones responsible for this disengagement. However, if there are a number of employees who are seemingly disengaged, or there seems to be a pattern of disengaged employees over time, than the fault may not actually lie with the employees at all, but with the company. It may even go as far as evaluating the attitudes and performance of supervisors and managers, the possible cause for employee dissatisfaction and disengagement. If the company chooses to keep the employee on board without seeking out methods for re-engagement of the employee, the result is the loss of thousands of dollars every year, from having paid a disengaged employee for so long; or if the company did fire the employee, they had to hire and train a new employee, even though the company could have actually saved money by understanding ways to keep the former employee more engaged in the operations of the business.
Who is at fault for a disengaged employee? Most employees hardly ever start off disengaged and usually end up becoming that way because of a company's lack of efforts to show a real investment in their employees. This investment goes beyond "paycheck to paycheck" and actually seeks out other reward systems and opportunities, so a company that feels engagement can only be helped in the form of monetary compensation for its employees can easily offset this by offering other valuable assets, including advanced positions, opportunities for growth and skill development, leadership development workshops, company stock, work-life balance or flexible schedules, company picnics or company activities, employee recognition programs, or positive feedback.
How much does it really cost a company to throw a pizza party or an ice cream party once a month if the company meets or does better than its expected quota? In terms of monetary compensation, how great would it be for all employees to open up their paychecks and see that they received an extra $50 or $100 bonus every quarter? It would likely not hinder a company's profits one bit and actually help to keep employees much more engaged and make them want to work that much harder to see that amount again next quarter. A company would be better off sharing their success in some positive form or another with the very employees who were largely responsible for that success.
This infographic from OfficeVibe shows 10 shocking statistics about employee engagement.
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