How to reduce company disengagement and improve performance

Are your staff disengaged? Could you put a value on a marginal improvement in their performance?

According to recent research from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU):

” 82 percent of UK business leaders say that disengaged employees are one of the top three biggest threats facing their business.”

But only 11 percent of UK firms actually take steps and regularly tackle staff with low levels of engagement. The research also reveals that employee motivation is only occasionally discussed occasionally, rarely or not at all at board level at almost half (46 percent) of British firms. But if that’s bad, seventy-one percent of French companies and 65 percent of German and Spanish companies hardly ever discuss staff engagement at board level. And 8 percent of French companies and 10 percent of German and Spanish companies regularly remove disengaged staff.

Disengaged staff are less productive and take more of a manager’s time because they’re waiting for direction. They’re hardly active whereas ideally you want people to be proactive. Every day of inactivity they are learning to be helpless and have a ‘can’t do’ attitude or worse they say ‘not my job mate’ and become defensive with a ‘won’t do’ attitude.

Research in the IT industry reveals an average person works 3.1 hours a day – what would ? hour extra in productivity do to the business? So why don’t we do more about it?

Graeme Yell, director at Hay Group, said: “Business leaders are right to identify disengagement as a key threat to their companies, but are doing very little about it. This is a major concern, as many organisations have scaled back heavily during the recession, leaving a smaller workforce to drive their business through to recovery.”

However, UK boards are more aware of the threat of disengagement than European counterparts.
Yell added: “Experienced staff are extremely valuable to an organisation. They have useful knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the company and how it works. Firms must act to ensure that long-serving employees are engaged as ambassadors of the organisation, rather than dead weight that must be carried.”

The companies that have tried to answer these problems have employed traditional methods – knowledge training including leadership, team building, time management, sales – but the transfer of this training into improving the workplace, productivity, performance and ultimately profit is poor.

Alliger & Janak (1989) – research found that the correlation between the four components of Kirkpatrick’s measuring of training to be poor and often based on assumptions. Therefore, the transfer of knowledge training back into the workplace is ‘not much better than random chance’ (CIPD 2007)

There is a solution that is obvious and painfully simple – it has taken years of research, development and now proven in public, private and charity sectors, and with large a small companies. It’s simply to do with a person’s mindset – it’s all about Mind Fitness. But the development or the journey people, leaders, teams and organisations take to being Mind Fit, doesn’t include theories or explicit knowledge learning.

This is seen as radical approach and is terrifying many traditionalists in business and people development. Those people that have been delivering the same methods or programmes for decades in the same old way, maybe today with a bit more glamour, but in essence nothing of what they do has really changed. The old methods and programmes that did not deliver what clients wanted before the recession will make even less of an impact now.

So to really engage your people there is a real choice – Mind Fitness – it works, performance improves and more importantly it is a sustainable solution.

So how Mind Fit is your organisation?

To find out more about how to increase your organisations performance and to read a complimentary chapter on Learned Powerfulness? visit our Facebook Page