Some say that customers are the most important part of a business. Many think otherwise. Without motivated and committed employees, you won’t be able to generate the best number of hot leads that will convert to paying customers.
You won’t also deliver quality products and services to keep them coming back for more.
So it's safe to say customers and employees are equally important in a business.
But here’s the problem…
What if your employees are uninvolved? Or in other words, unengaged? How can you increase their productivity?
In this post, we’re going to go over the following:
- The drawback of uninvolved employees
- The benefits of increasing employee involvement
- 3 types of employees
- A brief overview of what an uninvolved employee means
- 5 tips in increasing employee involvement
The downside of uninvolved employees
Low employee engagement results in low productivity and high turnover.
Low productivity means you aren’t reaching the best potential revenue you can generate for your business.
A high turnover means you’ll always have to onboard new employees to replace those who left.
Instead of getting you and your employees’ time and energy focused on improving processes and creating ways to generate more revenue, you’ll be preoccupied with orienting those who just joined the team.
Another downside is that these new employees will be unfamiliar with so many dynamics in the business that you’ll have to constantly keep them under your wings.
Imagine doing that over and over again!
The reality is only 15% of employees all over the world are actively involved in their jobs according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report. Another research reveals that in the United States alone, uninvolved employees cost $550 billion/year in lost productivity.
Sobering isn’t it? But let’s not dwell on those digits.
Before you get your spirits down, let’s move over to the benefits of increased employee involvement.
Benefits of increased employee involvement
The opposite of what was mentioned earlier is the first benefits of increased employee involvement: high productivity and low turnover.
First, according to a Gallup survey, high employee involvement rates mean 21% more productive employees. The more productive they are, the more revenue they can generate for the business.
Second, you can focus on honing the skills of your employees because you don’t have to constantly replace them. In the long term, they’ll be able to do more for the business with the skill set they developed.
Plus, you can focus on the more important matters instead of constantly getting occupied with orienting new employees.
You’ll have one less problem to deal with, the time you can reinvest to find ways to generate more revenue.
More or less, there are 3 types of employees when it comes to involvement. The better you can identify where most of your employees are, the better you can assess the gravity of the intervention you need to make.
3 types of employees
According to Gallup, there are three types of employees in an organization:
- Engaged (15% of the employees): These are the emotionally committed and loyal workforce. They excel and are enthusiastic about their job and are willing to take on more tasks outside their job description.
- Not Engaged (67% of the employees): These people are relatively satisfied with their jobs but only do the bare minimum. They aren’t concerned with the company’s productivity and profitability. Most of them are only in for the paycheck. However, when these people are dealt with the right approach, they have the potential of turning into engaged employees.
- Actively Disengaged (18% of the employees): These people are hard to deal with. They create a toxic environment. They are always negative and are vocal about it. The sad part is, some “A” players of the company are part of this group so they usually have a significant influence over others.
Now we’ve gone over the disadvantages of uninvolved employees and the advantages of involved ones. But what does employee involvement really mean?
What employee involvement is
More than just job satisfaction, involved or engaged employees are invested, passionate, and motivated about their work.
This entails more than just commitment to a paycheck but the company as a whole. These people are emotionally connected to the company, so they are willing to put in more than a day’s worth of tasks.
Involved employees are willing to grow in the company and with the company. When an employee is involved, he heads to work not begrudgingly but eagerly, excited to get on with the day and get stuff done.
They’re willing to upskill and collaborate. Even when faced with any work complication, they deal with it positively.
If you feel that your employees don’t have this kind of disposition, you're going to lose out on 21% of their potential productivity.
So here are 5 tips to remedy the situation.
Tip 1: Revisit processes and address inefficiencies
With the development of apps and other digital tools, some tasks or steps in a task are becoming unnecessary. Going through non-essential steps can tire employees and cause them to change from motivated to moving in cruise control.
Simply said, they do their tasks, but their heart’s not in it anymore.
For example, the HR department might have to endure using a clunky spreadsheet to monitor leaves where they have to do manual data entry.
The manual entering of information has become unessential in a time where leave management software is readily available.
Or if your email marketing team had to create email marketing campaigns from scratch like what you would need to recover sales from add-to-carts in a time where an abandoned cart email template is freely available.
Without revisiting processes, you can get stuck in the old way of doing things that in this era can already be called inefficient.
Employees will take twice as long to finish tasks if processes were automated. Of course, certain tasks can’t be bypassed even with modern automation around. However, you should always think of ways to optimize things and implement useful resources to make tasks more functional and efficient.
Analyze your current processes. Go over SOPs and frameworks to look for areas where processes can be made easier so employees can be more productive.
Listen to employees
You shouldn’t do the revisiting alone. Since the team members are the ones who are directly affected by these processes, you should also get their say on the matter.
This means improving internal communications. Business owners and team leaders should pay close attention to employee feedback.
Create annual surveys for them, or better yet, quarterly surveys so they won’t have to wait a whole year for their voices to be heard but still have ample function period to evaluate their current processes.
Performance reviews and conversations can also be done more frequently. This comprehensive approach will make it easier to pinpoint blockers and any friction that stops them from being as involved as they can potentially be.
Problems can be addressed quicker and employees will feel valued, boosting their morale and moving them to be more involved knowing that they are heard.
Supply the right tool
Now employees' voices are heard, what’s next?
Give them the tools they need. They might already have suggestions in mind, but you can also brainstorm with them to know what features of a tool they need so you can find the right one to use.
For example, if you’re a business engaged in cold calling to reach sales quota and your employees tell you manual dialing is too tedious for them, you can get them a predictive dialer.
Or if you’re a business leveraging video content for your marketing efforts and your employees tell you record-keeping and storage are getting harder by the day, you can provide them with a video asset management tool.
Tools aren’t necessarily just apps and software. It can also be the outsourcing of certain skill-focused tasks.
Again for marketing teams, you might need constant visuals for your ads, blogs, social posts, and etc. Take some work off the plate of your employees by outsourcing the job to a dedicated graphic specialist.
Businesses, especially those run online, are getting more and more complex. Help employees get more involved by providing them with the right tools they need.
By doing so you're not just investing in the resource you get, you’re also investing in your employees’ mental health, productivity, and retention.
Tip 2: Create meaningful work
Create meaningful work to increase employee involvement by connecting their work to a purpose.
If you want to increase employee involvement, motivate them to care about your company's mission. More than just getting their feedback as mentioned earlier, include them in key decisions.
When they know you have their welfare in mind, you are building a strong meaning to their role and making them feel they are part of the bigger picture.
The more they see their purpose, the more involved they will be.
Make them understand the goal of their role in the team. It gives them more purpose and more motivation to get their work done knowing it has a significant impact on the organization.
In a global report by LinkedIn, they noted that 73% of purpose-oriented employees are satisfied and highly engaged with their tasks.
As you’ve noticed, most employees have high levels of motivation when they are in a new job. Then the drive decreases over time.
Before they become totally unengaged, create initiatives to help them find their purpose. Even a short pep talk in team-building can do wonders.
Connecting an employee’s work to a purpose doesn’t also mean you tie them down to their work 24/7.
Be human. Understand that they have lives outside of the workplace so get them to recharge and establish a work-life balance. Foster an environment that’s professional but friendly and understanding.
Tip 3: Carve career paths by offering development opportunities
In simple terms, provide training opportunities so they can upskill.
When employees feel they are in a place that helps them advance their careers, they are more likely to stay and be involved. Subconsciously, this also makes them feel valued.
Plus the industry is constantly evolving. Professional development will ensure you stay relevant in the field.
This means you just don’t help your company gain more capable employees, you also help it stay competitive in the market.
These don't have to be grand educational events for them. It can simply be short courses incorporated in the scheduled meetings where senior employees teach junior employees.
There can also be recommendations for short courses on a website like what Videomaker offers.
Or you can also tap outside consultants to present insight and host-related workshops. This will be great for real estate-related fields like what home buyer companies need to learn about new house tour strategies and the resources available to buy and sell houses fast.
If you can set the budget for it, you can also provide a stipend for employees who want to enroll in industry-related training courses. This is best for animation fields so you can come up with fresh animated shows viewers will love just like what Spores had with Super Boomi.
Whatever the case and whatever training structure you prefer, providing avenues for structured training to enhance skill sets will increase employee involvement.
Tip 4: Clarify goals
In many cases, employees tend to get confused about what their role entails in the organization.
Some higher-ups even forget each employee's job description, causing them to assign tasks that are beyond the scope of their jobs, thus decreasing employee participation.
This can cause employees to be burned out and disengaged with their work.
To prevent this from happening, clarify their goals and responsibilities to avoid assigning tasks that shouldn’t be given to certain employees.
In some cases, employees feel mental exhaustion because of poor leadership or feelings of inadequacy. Always ensure that managers and supervisors not only focus on the work being done but also check on the employees’ well-being.
Great leaders clarify goals and assist employees when problems arise.
Tip 5: Foster an attitude of gratitude
In an analysis made by Gallup, it’s revealed that among US workers, only one out of three receive gratitude or recognition for their achievements.
Granted, team leaders always have a lot on their plate and a simple thank you might seem very trivial. But always remember, in the eyes of the employees, it can mean the world to them.
A simple thank you or a short credit can reinforce an employee’s conviction that he is on the right track and is doing his job well and thus increase productivity on his part.
It makes him feel valued, not taken for granted. And when they feel the former, they’ll thrive in what they do and think less of finding gratitude and credit elsewhere.
Additionally, acknowledging the work done by one employee can motivate others to always put their best foot forward too.
And when due credit is given, employees will be more inclined to do the same for teammates thus encouraging healthier collaborations within the group. The more collaborative each employee is, the more productive the team is.
Develop this as part of your company culture.
Taking employee engagement lightly can be detrimental to the growth and revenue of your business.
If you take the effort in revisiting processes, creating meaningful work, carving career paths, clarifying goals, and fostering a thankful attitude employees will feel more valued and thus be motivated to be more involved in the company, a business growth hack everyone shouldn’t miss.