In the Gallup corporation’s 2001 State of The American Workplace study their research estimated disengaged employees as costing American companies $300 billion dollars.
Read that again. It’s NOT a typo… BILLION with a letter B not Million.
So there’s no confusion, let me clearly define for you what disengagement means. According to Gallup the term can be defined as…
“This term describes people who not only fail to be enthralled by their work but are fundamentally disconnected from it. Actively disengaged workers tend to be less productive and report being less loyal to their companies, more stressed and less secure in their work. They miss more days and are less satisfied with their personal lives.”
Their research revealed that 70% of American employees are disengaged with nearly 30% of them actively disengaged.
This is the equivalent of 7 of the 10 players a coach put on the field not having their head in the game. And 3 actively disengaged employees is the equivalent of 3 players intentionally shooting the ball into your own net.
Coaches would never allow this to happen yet it’s happening all over corporate America.
When the data was released those staggering statistics rapidly became public knowledge among Human Resource professionals and C-Suite executives.
Yet, what happened? Since 2001, that number has actually increased not decreased.
In their 2016 study Gallup estimates disengaged employees cost companies between $480-$600 billion a year in lost productivity. That’s almost twice the size of the national defense budget ($300. Billion)
So in fifteen years of awareness, human resource departments and their leadership have collectively allowed the problem to double.
Which is why, with the exception of this article, I never use the term “disengagement”. It’s too moderate and nebulous a term to bring about behavioral change and a shift in priorities.
I refer to “employee disengagement” by its rightful term…
If a doctor diagnosed you with a highly beatable and treatable form of cancer tomorrow, would you neglect to treat it?
You’d immediately seek an oncologist, undergo a treatment protocol and stick to it until you rid your body of the dreaded disease. Plus in the process you’d build some very healthy habits to help you thrive moving forward after the cancer was declared in remission.
What if you started calling disengagement what it really is at your company…
Then maybe you’d be more motivated to find a cure for it.
Or really I should say IMPLEMENT a cure.
Because the cure has already been found! It was found and has been around looooong before corporate cancer was diagnosed by Gallup back in 2001.
It’s a dirty little seven letter word called C-U-L-T-U-R-E.
And on some level every HR director and C-Suite exec knows this. But merely knowing this and not doing anything about it is like having the cure for cancer yet not utilizing it. Even when you know the antidote works.
And boy does the antidote work…
The State of the American Workplace report shows that companies with 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010-2011 experienced 147% higher earnings per share (EPS) on average in 2011-2012 compared with their competition.
Let me translate: Building your culture and investing in coaching and training can provide you with nearly 150% higher earnings than the competition.
Everyone wishes their numbers were better yet little to nothing is done to address corporate cancer at most companies.
So what’s the antidote Bru?
Building the right culture and developing your team at every level is the treatment protocol.
Let me show you an example of this that just happened…
When Mohamed Sanu was traded to the New England Patriots earlier this week, there was no doubt in his mind that he would have to give up his #12 jersey, considering Patriots quarterback Tom Brady already wears that number.
So you can imagine how shocked Sanu was when the six-time Super Bowl Champion messaged him to let him know that he could have jersey #12 if he wanted it.
Think about that for a minute. Tom Brady is synonymous with the jersey number 12. Hell it goes beyond a jersey, his health and nutrition company is even named TB12.
And he was willing to hand that very personal piece of his legacy and brand over to a “new employee” to make him feel like a valued and welcome member of the team.
For him to voluntarily and immediately offer up that jersey number to a new teammate he hadn’t even met yet speaks volumes. Not only of Brady but also of the New England Patriots team culture.
That simply doesn’t happen in a toxic culture. And it’s no accident either, that’s intention. The concept of team over self. Even when self is a 6 time World Champion, 7 time MVP, sure fire first ballot hall of famer and perhaps the greatest to ever play his position.
Can you point to examples of that happening on a consistent basis at every level of your company?
If not, you’re leaving a massive amount of money on the table and letting talent fly right out your door. Fortunately I can help you build your team culture as I currently am with clients ranging from pro and college teams to small and medium sized businesses.
Message me HERE if you’d like to schedule a call to discuss.