adobestock_81474472-1Companies continue to struggle in the area of employee engagement. According to Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace report, only 30% of American workers are engaged. Of the 70% who are not reaching their full potential at work, 52% are not engaged, and 18% are actively disengaged.

On one end of the spectrum, engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward. In the middle of the spectrum are sluggish employees who maintain the status quo by putting time — but not energy or passion — into their work. On the other end of the spectrum, totally disengaged employees sprinkle misery around which only serves to undermine the progress of engaged workers.

Engagement varies by industry. Service and transportation workers are near the bottom rung of engagement. Manufacturing workers are the least engaged perhaps because the typical management mentality within the manufacturing industry focuses on process over people.

Why should leaders care about these findings? Disengagement negatively sways productivity which adversely affects the bottom line. In addition to profitability and productivity impact, there is a well-established connection between employee engagement and turnover (for high-and low-turnover organizations), safety incidents, and shrinkage (theft).

Blaming the worker is not the answer. Engagement is a management problem. You may have heard it said, “People join companies and leave managers.” Consequently, engagement must be addressed from the top-down.

DB&A’s consulting model recognizes that engaged workers drive improved performance. Therefore, we focus on necessary behavior changes which improve how managers supervise workers. In addition to management “classroom” training, a critical element is daily, on-the-floor training and coaching of frontline managers to ensure they execute in their current environments.

Why hone in on the front lines? Frontline managers have the greatest impact on engagement. However, this level of management is often severely stressed and pulled in so many different directions that they concentrate on “serving up” to management and hitting macro targets as in service and quality. Attempting to hit numerical targets without the sensitivity or the skill sets to effectively supervise people is a major contributor to an employee’s lack of commitment or complete disengagement.

DB&A’s clients have seen astounding improvements in performance. It is possible to re-engage workers and re-ignite performance. If you lead a typical U.S. company that is struggling with a lack of engagement, Contact Us now so that we can help you drive a culture of engagement.