We all know the stats: a whopping 70% of employees are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work; and it’s costing the US economy somewhere between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion annually. Leaders are trying their best to solve the problem, but their well intentioned efforts continue to fall short as engagement remains low despite significant investments ($720 million a year, according to Bersin & Associates).
So, what’s the problem?
Leaders continue to implement quick fix engagement solutions that don’t work. And at the core of that problem lies one issue: a misunderstanding of employee experience.
Why the misunderstanding?
Somewhere along its explosion into popularity, ping-pong tables, office kegs, and other shallow perks have become misrepresented as effective solutions to improving employee engagement within organizations. Authors and influencers continue to promote the next hot trend that will magically fix an organization’s engagement issues - and have rarely taken the time to educate leaders on the proper way to think about and improve engagement.
The reason for this is simple: people are more likely to be interested in quick fixes than longer-term solutions. This misinformation continues to lure in and convince leaders to bite on band-aid engagement solutions for their organizations, but those solutions simply do not work when it comes to long-term engagement.
So, what's the right way?
The key to improving engagement is having the right idea of what to focus on in the first place. That thing is employee experience. When it comes to creating an employee experience that promotes engagement, leaders need to focus on closing the gaps that exist between employee expectations and employee experiences. Every employee has experience expectations - whether it comes to how their performance is managed, to the connection they feel to the impact their organization is making, to the physical space in which they work. And when an experience doesn’t meet their expectations, it leads them to be not engaged or actively disengaged.
There are four steps that leaders can take to prevent that from happening:
Understand employee expectations and the maturity of the experiences their organization offers
Update or create experiences to close gaps between expectations and experiences
Monitor expectations and experiences to continually uncover new gaps
Adjust experiences accordingly to close gaps
Leaders that take the time to ensure their organization offers an employee experience that meets their employees’ expectations will boast higher sales, profitability, productivity, customer metrics, and lower turnover than those that do not. Like most things, the right way isn’t the fastest or the easiest, but it is certainly the most reliable and the most rewarding. As a leader, the choice is yours when it comes to which path you’ll take. We hope that you'll avoid the band-aids and focus on implementing long-term engagement solutions within your organizations.
To learn more about employee experience, check out our EX101 series, or reach out to learn about improving EX within your organization.
The Holistic Employee Experience Platform is designed to make work meaningful within organizations. Holistic connects and improves employee experience by focusing on four areas proven to drive an increase in employee engagement and organizational performance. To learn more about the Holistic Employee Experience Platform, visit our website, or reach out for a demo.