U.S. Employees Are Disengaged—and Mismanaged

I was talking to a neighbor recently who told me how much she hates her job. She said what she mainly hates about it is her co-workers; no one talks to each other. They either ignore her completely or they’re nasty or some of them are just plain mean. This is a retail environment.

Do you suspect how the employees treat their customers is any different than how they treat each other? I doubt it. Now it’s possible that this is just my neighbor’s experience, but I’m guessing it’s more pervasive than that. So where’s the leadership within this organization? They have to know this is going on, don’t they? She can’t wait to quit – she’s probably not the only one.

I was recently talking to my niece who had yet another story of disengagement. At her place of work, people show up late or don’t show up at all and there are no repercussions. No one says a word to them. This is a business where customers make appointments for services. If an employee doesn’t show up, someone else has to take on the responsibility of fulfilling the service for which the customer is paying. So where’s the leadership within this organization? Do you think the employees here are engaged? Probably not.

A recent article from strategy + business – on how disengaged, and mismanaged employees are, points out “Scientific studies identify two main drivers of worker productivity, loyalty, and commitment: participation in the decisions that affect one’s work, and participation in the financial returns that work generates.”

It goes on to say, “Two other engagement factors, flagged by Gallup, are also found in high-performing organizations. The first is the palpable sense of community that employees feel when they are valued and respected as members of an organization in which they can count on co-workers to carry their fair share and offer support when needed”.  Neither my neighbor’s nor my niece’s company fit this bill.

Engagement starts at the top. If the leadership within an organization is not setting the tone for acceptable behavior and holding people accountable, what are the chances people in the rank and file are going to be engaged? Slim to none.


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