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3 Ways HR Can Combat Low Engagement

Like Jim Halpert constantly pranking Dwight Schrute on TV’s popular show The Office, employees can push the limits when engagement is low. Though it’s been noted time and again, another mention can’t hurt: Gallup estimates disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion in productivity per year.

But what can be done about the 52% who simply aren’t actively engaged? Even for the most experienced managers, they can be difficult to spot. According to Gallup, these employees “are not overtly hostile or disruptive and likely do just enough to fulfill their job requirements. They sleepwalk through their day, uninspired and lacking motivation.”

Converting these employees to passionate individuals is key to increasing performance and driving organizational growth. Follow these three tips to create higher engagement within your workforce.

1. Stay in the loop

Do your managers know how their employees are doing? Any hesitancy when answering this question could warrant a re-evaluation of your company’s communication techniques.

Gallup estimates employees are three times as likely to be engaged when their managers conduct regular meetings or check-ins. Today’s worker also greatly values communication with supervisors regarding what happens in their lives outside of work.

Though development review meetings are important, weekly or biweekly check-ins with employees – especially in a one-on-one setting – are crucial to understanding what motivates and inspires them.

2. Own it

Remember that sense of accomplishment as a kid when you bought something with your own money? That same feeling applies to the workplace. According to Harvard Business Review, engagement and retention efforts can be improved by giving employees psychological ownership of their job, or “the experience of possessing and being psychologically tied to an entity.”

To help increase psychological ownership – not to mention happiness and productivity – consider allowing employees to:

  • personalize their space
  • provide input on their work title or email signature
  • take ownership of an idea, a team or a product

3. Survey the land

Understanding engagement needs is key to retaining and developing any employee. It especially applies to top performers. Consider creating an engagement survey to gauge employee attitudes and opinions regarding your efforts, and ask for ideas for future initiatives.

But what questions are the right ones to ask? Download this free guide to discover four steps for writing effective survey questions.

Though low engagement may cause some employees to test workplace limits, employers can actively work to inspire and motivate those workers with tactics designed to boost productivity and retention.