Why the Right Type of Communication is Important To You and Your Employees.
Following on from my last post regarding discussion and dialogue, let’s have a look at how poor communication disengages the people who work with you:
85% of Employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged!
The Gallup organisation in its most recent employee engagement meta-analysis involving 96 countries across the globe consisting of 112,312 business/work units comprising of 2,708,528 employees in 54 industries found that 85% of all employees are still either not engaged or are actively disengaged!
The meta-analysis is an ongoing study by Gallup for the last 50 years, so it does have some amazing data to share on the change of employee engagement during that time.
Working out the cost of disengagement
The Gallup revelation is not new, nor are the many different strategies that have been implemented the world over to try and get more people engaged at work.
Using two of the Gallup metrics, Dr Brit Andreatta detailed how to calculate the cost of disengagement to an organisation. The metrics are: 17.2% of employees are disengaged and an actively disengaged employee costs their organisation $3,400 for every $10,000 or 34% (How to Calculate the Cost of Employee Disengagement – Paul Petrone).
So, what you do first is identify the number of people that you have e.g. 10. Then multiply 10 x the metric re employees disengaged i.e. 0.172 (17.2%) = 1.72.
Next you work out the median salary or wage of your workforce. For example, say it is $60,000 per year. Then apply the cost of disengagement (34%). This comes to $20,400.
Finally, multiply the number of disengaged employees (1.72) by the cost of disengagement ($20,400). This equals $35,088 per year.
So, now imagine the following: if you have 100 employees, the cost is $350,880 each year. If you have 1,000 employees, the cost is $3,508,800 per year and so on.
Is it me? Or, is it you?
So, what is going on?
As it turns out, in most cases, ineffective management is the cause of the disconnect. David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom in their article 10 Shocking Workplace Stats You Need To Know tells the story!
The way managers and leaders communicate with their teams causes a perception that alienates the disengaged employee. Some of the perceptions I have had to manage and then change over many years that bears this out includes:
- I am being micro-managed;
- My supervisor is not interested in what I am doing;
- I am not allowed to be involved;
- I have been told no yet again regarding accessing training and development;
- I am not allowed to have tools and equipment that will make my job easier and more interesting;
- No one ever listens to what I have got to say;
- Meetings are a waste of time;
- No one ever tells us what is going on around here.
The Solution – Work Out How to Communicate Effectively!
The bottom line is that the most effective way to commence breaking the communication drought is through keeping those around you informed!
Believe it or not, many leaders, managers, supervisors and team leaders need to learn this skill. You may be a good talker and have an “engaging” personality, but that doesn’t mean you are keeping those around you informed. There is nothing worse than seeing the look in the eyes of your team members that virtually says “I can’t hear you, because it sounds like being on the end of a long distance phone call.”
Contrary to what some may think, those in the frontline know their job very well. However, that doesn’t mean they know what is happening throughout the organisation, let alone how the organisation works. Then on top of this, there is a disconnect occurring between the generations.
There is plenty of good material and courses that a manager can access regarding dealing with difficult people and situations. There are resources on how to delegate effectively. There is even courses on how to undertake an effective presentation or run a worthwhile meeting. There are training programs regarding how the different generations like to do things in the workplace (Oh boy, how this has changed. When I first started work, I did as I was told – thinking for myself wasn’t an option).
The most effective tool I have ever used is a quarterly presentation to all staff regarding how well the organisation is functioning and confirmation of where we are heading, together. My second most effective method: how I run a meeting. In short, I ensure everyone is involved. It takes a huge effort to do this, but it works. Then, of course, there are those meetings I let others run. The third most effective tool: a staff newsletter. The great secret here is working out a format that your team(s) like – it’s simple enough to do – just ask them. Finally, I get out and about and ask questions and I try to listen as best I can. Believe it or not most staff like this.