Why are two-thirds of my company employees unhappy?

Last week, Gallup published research stating that U.S. Employee Engagement is at a lowly 32.7%. Additionally, nearly half of all employees are "not engaged" and 16.4% are "actively disengaged." That means, that two-thirds of your employees would rather be anywhere else – than working for you!

Are you kidding me?! Why are more than two-thirds of the people in this country unhappy with their jobs? Why are they not committed to being successful in their current role? Most importantly, how is this lack of engagement impacting your business?

Changing levels of employee engagement and satisfaction is not rocket science. It’s actually pretty straightforward. But in order to change this trend, you need to be honest with yourself about the importance of your employees and the role they play in achieving your business goals. It is then critical to begin taking daily steps toward improvement.

As business leaders, we have a responsibility to take action against this employee apathy.

The first step in improving employee listlessness requires you to get to know your employees! It is critical that you engage your employees and seek out the answers to the following questions:

  • What motivates him/her at work?

  • What are his/her career goals, short-term and long-term?

  • What does he/she need to feel more supported in their roles? Does the individual want more time with me providing feedback or guidance, more time sharing their ideas with me, or more autonomy on a daily basis?

  • How does he/she like to be recognized? Does the individual prefer verbal recognition, public acknowledgement, or financial compensation? (You might be surprised by the answer! A simple ‘Thank You’ from the boss can go a long way.)

Mr. Employer, if you don’t have a freaking clue, that’s OK! But it’s about time you find out the answers and ask your employees. Not only will they appreciate your interest, they may even thank you for taking the time to learn about them and what they want to achieve professionally.

With the answers to these questions in hand, you can begin to create a game plan on how you can better support your employees and encourage them to be successful.

Employee engagement is about knowing and understanding the needs of each employee. Meet them where they are and support them on their way to where they (and you!) want them to go.

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