Recognise This! – Simple approachability and communication can contribute to improved employee engagement.

Gallup research
last month reported that, although the German economy recovered the fastest of the G7 countries, its continued growth is also at great risk due to low employee engagement levels.

    “High among the potential problems facing Germany is lack of engagement in its workforce. Recent Gallup data find that just 13% of Germany’s employees are engaged in their jobs. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the country’s workers are not engaged, and one-fifth of the working population is actively disengaged. …

    “Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the German economy between 121.8 billion and 133.6 billion euros per year in lost productivity. The absenteeism rate among actively disengaged German employees is 28% greater than among engaged workers. The accumulated impact of this absenteeism can be overwhelming, considering that each day an employee is away from work in Germany costs companies an average of € 247.20 per worker.”

Those challenges are not limited to Germany alone. Chartered Management Institute research out of the UK reported:

    “Almost two-thirds of respondents highlighted a lack of employee engagement within their workplace, with many feeling their bosses are unapproachable. Younger workers are said to be the most affected by this lack of communication, with 39 per cent feeling embarrassed to ask for help with an issue.”

Approachability can be subjective. A manager may believe himself to be quite approachable, not realising the door he keeps closed to regulate office temperature actually sends a message of “Do not disturb!” to his employees.

Added to this is managers who limit the flow of information, thinking to be helpful by not inundating their employees. Yet, employees feel brushed off by statements like, “You don’t need to worry about that. I’ll let you know what you need to know.”

Do you feel your manager is approachable?
Do you have all the information you feel you need to do your job? What’s your employee disengagement rate? If you were to calculate your overall employee absence rate with the average cost of €250, how big of hit does your bottom-line take?