History records how Alexander was able to march on and conquer hitherto unknown lands due his valour and his motivated troops. However, the same history also records, how dissent amongst his troops towards the latter part of his career, cut short his ambitions of supremacy in Asia.
Alexander started hiring more outsiders, laying off his tired troops and more significantly punishing open feedback by his men. His actions, at the latter part his conquest, were in stark contrast to his initial techniques which had been successful in fostering a sense of belonging among his men. This led to dissent and ultimately dealt a huge blow to Alexanderâ€™s aspirations.
In todayâ€™s business context, let us look at the cost of a disengaged workforce to better understand the significance of employee engagement.
Cost of Disengaged Workforce
The findings of the Gallup Study of 2008 show that while the engaged employees believe they can contribute to companyâ€™s growth, the disengaged employee believes otherwise, i.e. his job does not contribute to the organization. This belief of the disengaged employee creates a negative spiral that affects his work, co-workers, customers, productivity, and eventually both happiness of employee and company performance. Some effects are illustrated below:
Effect on Work - The disengaged employee tries to evade work, struggles to meet deadlines and is reluctant to accept additional responsibility.
Effect on Co-Workers - The negativity of a disengaged employee, demonstrated either through raves and rants or complete withdrawal from participation, affects the team morale. After all who has not heard of the proverb - one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.
Effect on Customers - Every employee, whether an organization likes it or not, becomes its ambassador. And a disengaged employee either by actively de-selling the organization, or by complete apathy towards their work, product, process, organization help create disengaged customers.
Effects on Productivity - Disengaged employees seldom push themselves to meet organizational goals let alone contribute to innovative practices at workplace. Since, they do not believe that their work contributes to the organization; they evade completing tasks thereby affecting team productivity.
Effect on Company Performance - In the corporate world, time is money and organizations must innovate to stay relevant. A disengaged workforce by virtue of delayed completion of tasks and inability to improvise and innovate cost the company dollars which ultimately affects bottom line. This has been validated by a Gallup Study whose research showed that costs of disengaged workforce in the United States was upwards of $300bn annually.
Effect on Personal Life of Employee - A disengaged employee is seldom able to shake off the lethargy and perform in the current organization or land a job of preference. This leads to pent up frustration which may ultimately affect his personal and family life.
Benefits of an Engaged Workforce
An engaged workforce form an emotional connect with the organization that helps them
Go the Extra Mile to Achieve Individual and Company Success
Innovate at Workplace
Attract customers and employees
Become Evangelists of the company, its product and processes
Infuse energy and positivity at workplace.