I just heard the most amazing statistic – only about a third of all employees are actually fully engaged at work. About half are not engaged, and the remaining almost 20% are actively disengaged, and sabotaging their employers through lack of productivity, gossip, rumors, and sometimes even working against the interests of the company. I found this staggering. I don’t have the exact numbers (I was getting dressed while watching a webinar, so I didn’t take notes) but it was something like 17-18% were actively disengaged.
I can believe there are 17% of employees who are bitter, bored, or malevolent enough to sabotage their employers. But it’s the half of all employees who are merely not engaged that is amazing to me. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising, given things like poor service at restaurants (especially when the restaurant is mostly empty and there’s not much for the server to do). But this means half of all goods made and services rendered and buildings built and roads resurfaced (or maybe more – I wouldn’t be surprised if certain jobs contain more of the not engaged than others – I would expect more rocket scientists or doctors to be fully engaged, for example, than road workers) are done by people who just don’t care. I don’t know about you, but I really hope my house was built by people who cared at least a little. I don’t want it to fall down around me! And I want my doctor to care about my health at least a little.
I know that a lot of work is boring. I hated a lot of the desk job I did years ago. It was tedious and frustrating and never seemed to end. But I still think there are ways to make work mean something. One way to make it mean something is to get the input of the people who do it about the direction it should go. That means having a way to get the input of everyone involved. And I know that the more I think my employer doesn’t care about me, the less likely I am to participate when invited to. So employers need something more than just a suggestion box. But think of the payoff! What if you could shift your workforce to be 50% fully engaged, instead of only 30%. What if it was 75% fully engaged! Think how much more productive everyone would be. Think how much lower the turnover. Think how much more money you’d make, how many loyal customers you’d gain, how much innovation you could come up with. What is it costing you to have so many employees who just don’t care?
By now you know that the work I do helps get everyone engaged. LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® gets everyone building, and talking about what they built, and involved, and playing, and serious, and giving input. I can tell you right now that if the bosses ignore everything they learn from LSP sessions, the disengagement will grow. But if they use what they learn to change the direction of the organization, those employees will be the best thing to ever happen to that business. We are talking real money, real success, real ROI. This personal stuff really makes a difference!