Do you look forward to Mondays or do you want to shoot the whole day down? Do you feel your work matters or makes a difference? Do you feel inspired and energised by what you do? Have you found a deeper meaning and purpose and want to effect change? No? Then you are not alone.
A staggering 50 to 70% (depending on sector) of employees are disengaged at work and it is costing the industry 15 billion per year in lost productivity (HRNetworkJobs.com). Employees may be present in body but not in heart or mind. This has now been termed as ‘presenteeism’ (Centre for mental health).
56% of employees are disengaged with the job itself, 47% with the lack of work/life balance and 28% with the salary (Jan Hills, Head, Heart & Brain Consultancy). Generation Y, also known as the Millennials are more interested in work/Life balance than climbing that slippery pole of promotion. Whilst some Millennials want to be shown to their own private office before receiving their awards and accolades before they’ve even lifted their finger to do any work, some care deeply about saving the world and making a difference rather than earning a big salary (Mathew Goldman. CEO of Wallaby).
The challenge is how to engage our workforce, from Generation X (Born between the 1960s to the 1980s); to Gen Y and now Gen Z (Mid 2000s to present day). One size doesn’t fit all and with the ever increasing demands of social media on our attention; it’s becoming more of a challenge to understand what motivates and engages people in the workplace. Our work environments also make our difference on our ability to concentrate. Open plan offices can cause employees to struggle to focus and tune out distractions. This can all add to stress and anxiety.
Being bombarded with emails and managing workloads can also cause employees stress levels to rise. Meeting deadlines can be a challenge when faced with emergent issues that need addressing.
Some strategies that are recommended to manage these competing challenges are:
Offering our employees the opportunity to work flexibly; to job share; to enjoy the benefits of gym membership; to take time out for a sabbatical or to travel and know that their job is secure; to work for an organisation that has the same values as their employees; to have a no emails after 6p.m. and weekends policy; to have meaningful work; to feel appreciated; to be challenged.
If you want to keep your workforce, recognise what motivates them. No longer do they live to work- they work to live and if they don’t like their job? They quit.