27 September 2023

Rates of interest: Why are so many workers disengaged?

Start the conversation

Valerie Bolden-Barrett* says that a new global study has found that a majority of employees are not fully engaged in their work.

Photo: PeopleImages

A global study of 19,000 employees by the ADP Research Institute found that 84 per cent aren’t fully engaged at work.

But ADP also found that teamwork could improve engagement metrics; workers in the study were 2.3 times more likely to be fully engaged if they belonged to a team and 12 times more likely to be fully engaged if they trusted their team leader.

The makeup of the various teams in an organisation, however, is not always clear.

Of those who work on a team, 64 per cent said they work on more than one and 75 per cent said their teams are not represented in the organisational chart.

ADP also found that 21 per cent of gig workers were fully engaged compared to just 15 per cent of full-time employees.

Worksite also mattered, as 29 per cent of virtual workers were fully engaged compared to 18 per cent of employees who work in an office.

Other factors included education and position: workers with a higher level of education were more likely to be fully engaged than those without a university degree, and C-suite and VP-level executives were more likely to be fully engaged than mid-level team leaders and those at the first level of team leadership.

Creating a positive candidate and new-hire experience is key in establishing long-term employee engagement.

Speaking at a Paycor summit earlier this year, Katy Bunn, senior director, marketing communications at Paycor, told the participants that engagement starts on day one of the job.

She urged HR leaders and managers to build a supportive culture for new hires that includes frequent check-ins on their progress and goal setting.

Another speaker at the Paycor summit, Kelly Charles-Collins, partner at Smoak, Chistolini & Barnett, PLLC, said that “atmosphere, culture and environment” (ACE) can positively impact employee experience by creating work environments that are more diverse, inclusive and mutually trusting.

But diversity alone isn’t enough, she added: “[Suppose] we have 10 people who are diverse … but what’re you doing with those people?”

“Are they involved in any way?”

“Are they empowered and do they feel valued within the organisation?”

Other experts say that engagement starts in the recruitment process and extends throughout an employee’s tenure.

An Allegis Group report found that while the relationship building that’s so critical to engagement begins in the recruitment stage, only 31 per cent of employers said they were satisfied with their recruitment efforts.

Employers can do a lot to improve candidate experience, according to a report by Phenom People.

Suggestions from that report included acknowledging applicants’ résumés in a reasonable time frame; responding to applicant queries quickly once they become candidates; being transparent about the organisation’s culture, the duties and expectations of the job; and announcing the outcome of interviews as soon as possible.

Even when candidates aren’t hired, keeping their names in the talent pool maintains the connection in case another position opens up or a previous hiring decision doesn’t pan out.

* Valerie Bolden-Barrett is a business writer and content specialist and contributor to HR Dive.

This article first appeared at www.hrdive.com.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.