Employee engagement is widely believed to be in dire straights throughout the world. Nevertheless, figures from a new Gallup survey should shock and alarm managers.

It shows an alarmingly low 13% of employees are actually engaged in their jobs. This isn’t just an American problem either, as you can see from the map below, employee disengagement is a global phenomenon.

employeeengagementmap

The survey goes on to reveal some symptoms of a disengaged employee.

  • “Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.”
  • “Not engaged employees are essentially checked out. They’re sleepwalking through their workday putting time — but not energy or passion — into their work.”
  • “Actively disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.”

Regular feedback = employee engagement

Some research from 2011 highlighted the important role positive feedback plays in employee engagement. They found that positive feedback was valued more highly than pretty much any other activity, including sex!

It’s a telling reminder that esteem doesn’t have to be delivered in financial ways, but that in our financially challenged times you should look for ways to boost the supply of feedback and thus prick the self-esteem of your employees. What’s more, other research has shown that employees with high self esteem perform better.

So how can you boost the self esteem of your team?

  • Say thank you. Research by OC Tanner suggest saying a simple ‘thank you’ raises employee engagement by as much as 30%
  • Don’t assume people know. If you think someone is doing a good job, don’t assume they know, tell them, and tell them immediately. Give feedback little and often.
  • Invest in them. Show how much you appreciate them by supporting their training and development.
  • Create small wins. Research shows that long projects struggle to engage staff, so break them down into smaller tasks that boost esteem with each win.

Original post at Work.com