The most recent Gallup report on employee engagement is in—and the data is not good. According to it, the numbers are already similar to the pre-pandemic levels.
This means that fewer than 40 percent of employees are actually actively engaged. These individuals contribute massively to the organization’s goals and go to work with a lot of motivation and enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, over 50 percent experience disengagement. Worse, 13 percent are actively disengaged. These people are so unhappy at work they are not afraid to show it to others. They may even encourage others to feel the same.
But most experts believe that there’s no better time to increase the level of engagement than today when workplace dynamics are changing.
Stress and Burnout in the Home
Based on data, remote work is likely to stay at least for another year. Upwork shared that about 25 percent of Americans will continue work from home in 2021. Many companies, usually tech, grant their employees the ability to work remotely indefinitely or forever.
In the meantime, a growing number of workplaces are adopting the hybrid model—that is, workers will spend a few days of the week in the office and the rest in their homes (or anywhere in the world).
Although the setup sounds good for most employees (some are threatening to quit their work if they are forced to return to the office), it doesn’t remove the feelings of stress and burnout.
An Indeed survey revealed that over 50 percent felt burned out in 2020. In the same year, a Gallup report cited that fully remote workers experienced more burnout than those reported to the office.
Further, the possible causes for stress and burnout among remote workers may differ from those who go to work. Besides more workload, many may struggle to adjust to the new normal or balancing their professional and personal responsibilities.
They might find setting up boundaries among members of the household challenging. Lastly, while employees can still communicate in many ways, the lack of physical interaction may strain professional relationships or create a disconnect with one another.
Mass Resignations and High Turnovers
It seems that the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to the Great Resignation, a period where hordes of employees have decided to quit their jobs. As of April 2021 alone, almost 4 million submitted their resignation.
The reasons vary. Some may have discovered that they are far worth more than what they’re getting from their company. The pandemic may have made others realize that there’s more to life than working. A number may have lost their jobs, started a business, and found huge success in it.
Either way, mass resignations can lead to two things that can also impact employee engagement:
- When more people leave, the turnover rate increases significantly. It can even reach 10 percent, which experts consider a healthy threshold. It could demoralize the remaining employees.
- High turnover rates mean that the remaining employees may have to do more work as the organization looks for a replacement. If more people are leaving, it means that the recruitment process can take some time. This setup will eventually lead to more burnout and stress.
How to Keep Employees Motivated at This Time
The impact of employee engagement—and disengagement—in a company is huge. It can affect productivity, efficiency, and growth. However, it is also difficult to translate these changes quantitatively.
Fortunately, many companies like FindMojo make it easier for teams to assess, monitor and act on employee disengagement. They may even narrow down the reasons so that the solutions are more spot-on.
Based on the results, the organization may implement the following steps to boost motivation and engagement:
- Respect boundaries – It’s time for companies to follow a regular working schedule and stick to it to give employees more time to decompress and attend to their personal responsibilities.
- Continue to provide paths for growth – Training and courses for employees should not stop. So should promotions.
- Prioritize mental health – More companies offer mental health breaks to help employees cope with stress and burnout. Some may say that this is costly, but a stressed worker is likely to be more expensive for the business since they are less productive, are prone to errors, and can become actively disengaged.
- Touchbase once in a while – Organizations can use tech to still promote collaboration and teambuilding.
Now is the right time for organizations to understand that to achieve growth, both the management and the employees need to give and take. If they want their team to perform, they have to take care of their employees too by minding their level of engagement.