- Lacking an engagement strategy and the presence of top-down bias are among 17 mistakes leaders in manufacturing make in reducing the "engagement gap," according to a report from The Filson Leadership Group. Filson defined the gap as the difference between the number of workers who enthusiastically contribute to their organization's success and the number of workers who are disengaged and underperforming.
- Disengagement costs U.S. companies between $440 to $550 billion in lost productivity and performance each year, the group said, citing a Gallup survey. According the report, manufacturing companies with an engaged workforce have 21% higher profitability, 70% fewer safety incidents, and 41% less absenteeism.
- The other 17 mistakes leaders in manufacturing make in closing the gap include: conducting uninteresting activities; not analyzing the needs of employees targeted for engagement; maintaining the status quo instead of being open to new ideas; and failing to make long-lasting cultural changes, the group said.
Employers across industries recognize the need to improve employee engagement, which tops the list of many organizations' priorities. But not all initiatives created have proven effective. Research shows that mistakes have created more engagement problems than they resolve, in some cases. That said, a third of employees report that they're unhappy at work, so employers can't sit on the sidelines.
Disengagement can often be identified via a common shortlist: lack of empathy on employers' part towards workers, micromanagement, unclear goals, a lack of recognition for a job well done, and a lack of sufficient training and development to upgrade skills. Although these criticisms often speak to the employee view side of the coin, that's where employers need to start to avoid the disconnect.
Maintaining, or even rebuilding, a culture of fairness, respect and inclusion is more critical today than ever, especially in the age of the #MeToo movement, pay inequality and other socially driven — versus corporate-driven — issues. HR professionals, as experts in human capital management (HCM), can lead employee engagement efforts by taking a human-focused approach when executing solutions.