In 2013, Gallup undertook a massive effort to study the current state of employee engagement around the world. After surveying 73,752 employees in 141 countries, Gallup found that 24% of employees are actively disengaged, 63% are not engaged, and 13% are engaged. You will find that when an employee is disengaged with their work environment, the rate of employee turnover could be expected to increase. And statistics from Work Institute have estimated that about 11% was due to manager/supervisor behavior and that had been the primary reason for why they had left. If employers want to keep hold of their workers, then they need to find a way to keep them engaged with their work. So, in 2018, Gallup repeated the study to see if anything had changed in five years. The updated results were better, with 18% of employees actively disengaged, 67% not engaged, and 15% engaged. While it’s good to see improvement, if you look under the hood a bit more, you’ll see that other data reveals even more depressing facts:
- 53% of workers are unhappy at their jobs.
- 88% of employees go home feeling like they work for an organization that doesn’t appreciate them. (Everybody Matters, by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia)
- 58% of employees would trust a stranger more than their own manager.
- Less than 30% of employees are loyal to their company.
The end result of this catastrophic data then shows up in the cost to the company:
- Companies lose $7 trillion in productivity from disengaged employees.
- Employee turnover costs a company 6-9 months worth of salary per employee.
- Unhappy employees take 15 more sick days per year. (The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor)
Even worse, the damage of low employee engagement doesn’t stop at internal cultural issues. When a disengaged employee interacts with a current or potential client, the results become compounded.
Companies spend $10 billion each year (Triggers, Marshall Goldsmith) on improving employee engagement, and 79% of HR managers say engagement is important to an organization. Yet when you consider these facts next to the data, it’s not a far stretch to say that we have a problem with employee engagement. Obviously, our current methods aren’t working. In this case, even where there is a will, there hasn’t been a way.
At Swift Kick, we believe that Dance Floor Theory is the answer as a system of engagement that lasts. The solution is not in a one-size-fits-all approach. In understanding the level of each individual on a team, we can start to make upward change one person at a time, from where they are currently. You won’t see results in day-long icebreaker sessions. It’s in the connections we create in small moments between individuals that will create a culture of motivation, productivity, and happiness.