Ever worked with someone that shows up to work and shuts down their brain on arrival? They are the employee that is just there for the pay check and has zero interest in doing no more than the minimum and attract no attention from the managers. Sometimes they will talk about what they would rather be doing or are just waiting around for a better offer to show up.
What might surprise you is that in Australia, this type of disengaged employee makes up a staggering 55% to 60% of the workforce.
Apart from the obvious demoralising effect of sleep walking through work day after day, the real costs of a disengaged employee runs into the billions of dollars every year and holds business performance back.
We see this situation everyday. I coached and mentored a Senior Manager named Andy, he was passionate about the industry he worked in but disengaged from the goals of the business he was working for. The other problem for Andy was that his behaviour was creating a poor example for the other staff.
Andy’s manager had some options – he could have taken a hard line and given Andy an ultimatum of pick up your game or you are out, he could have ignored the situation like 75% of managers in Australia do until it gets critical or he could have actively undermined Andy in the hope he would leave.
Andy’s manager did not do any of those things – he had invested a lot of time, money and effort to bring Andy into the business and decided he needed to work with Andy to engage him in the business. With some targeted work around improved self-awareness and leadership impact Andy did engage with the business and became a more confident people manager and a positive performer.
Andy could have been part of the small percentage of actively disengaged staff who are the wrong fit for the job. As it turned out it would have been wrong and a waste of money to assume just because Andy was not performing to his Manager’s standards that he was underperforming and a bad selection for the business.
Rather Andy’s manager showed that he cared for him and the business enough to support Andy to change and fit – if Andy had not done his part we would have had a different outcome.
It does take effort to support your staff to get off the bench and into the game. Why spend time, money and effort working on staff engagement – recent research shows that in Australia and New Zealand feature the second highest level of employee engagement globally at 24%, coming in behind the US and Canada’s 29%. What are you doing to engage your staff?