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Friday, May 9, 2014

Employee Engagement IS Rocket Science in a Non-Supportive Workplace Environment!

The latest buzz circulating in HR circles is, and The Gallup Management Journal’s “Employee Engagement Index” confirms, that nearly 70% of workers are disengaged from their jobs!

Given the increased stresses placed on the workplace by a dysfunctional economy and the increased threat of unemployment, many people may have simply adjusted to the idea that having any job is better than the alternative. If workplace happiness and engagement in your job equate, and I believe they do, this means that you have slightly over a one-in-four chance of being satisfied with your current situation. While better than your odds of returning from Las Vegas a millionaire, these odds are still not desirable.

It seems reasonable that the characteristics which foster employee engagement have some tangible relationship with a supportive workplace environment while those characteristics that foster non-engagement bear a connection to non-supportive environments.

The Gallup Organization estimates that the 17 percent of employees who are actively disengaged from their jobs costs the United States economy from $300 to $350 billion a year with these figures holding fairly steady since 2002. This is why it is difficult to understand how corporate executives tolerate non-supportive environments.

Of equal if not more concern is the toll this situation levies on working people and their families who are struggling to keep afloat in a still uncertain economy. This already stressful situation is exacerbated by non-supportive workplace environments, and high levels of negative stress are known to have extreme consequences which can be devastating for workers and costly for the company.

It would seem there are two courses of action that lead to a remedy. First, corporate leaders could recognize that non-supportive workplace environments limit employee engagement and diminish productivity. Management teams could begin shifting course in favor of providing workers stronger support structures. As I often say, employee engagement IS rocket science in a non-supportive workplace environment!

Additionally, workers can take action to leverage more control while maintaining their value and options in the job market. This will help reduce frustration and allow them to better manage the stresses of the non-supportive workplace environments in which so many people now work.

Your thoughts on this current and important topic are welcome!

Fred Stawitz
Coauthor of Don't Run Naked Through The Office

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