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Most people don’t realize how big of a problem we have with employee engagement. Have you seen the data? Do you know that globally, 40% of workers are disengaged? In the US, it’s even worse. The number of disengaged workers is 70%!

Why don’t companies do anything about it? Do they not care? Do they not see this as an opportunity to be better than their competition?

Having employees that are engaged can be the best thing for your long term success. In my opinion, these are the top 3 reasons your employees are disengaged.

the office

1. You Don’t Respect Them

You either micromanage them, or underpay them, or both. This problem never ceases to amaze me. How do you think they feel when you micromanage them? Would you want to be treated this way? When an employee asks for extra time off, why would you say no? Don’t you want them to get the rest that they need and come back more refreshed and more productive?

I’ll never fully understood why employers treat employees like crap. Do you think they’re likely to recommend their friends to work there?

There’s no bigger slap in the face to an employee than you micromanaging them. Why are you so involved in their work? Is it because you want to justify taking the credit? Bottom line, show your employees the respect they deserve. You obviously hired them for a reason (my guess is that you thought they were great), so why not let them be great?

2. The Culture Is Toxic

Which of these two environments sounds healthier to you? One where there is a lot of stress, always changing priorities, lots of yelling and screaming, OR an environment that embraces failure, is relatively flexible with things like your schedule, and genuinely seems to care about how engaged you are.

I’d pick the latter.

Having a toxic culture is a problem that I unfortunately see all too often. If you make one resolution this year as a business owner, make it to invest more in improving your culture. Trust me when I say it will make or break your business.

Your employees aren’t engaged because they hate coming to work.

Make it fun for them. Give them a reason to get excited about going that extra mile for you, and putting in that overtime. Remember that a work relationship (like any relationship), is a two way street. Give them a little, and expect to get a little in return.

3. They Don’t Respect The Decisions You Make

This one actually comes from personal experience. When I was thinking about some of my previous jobs, and why I might have started to become disengaged, I realized that the fact that I didn’t respect a lot of the decisions the company was making was a big factor in me becoming disengaged.

This one is a bit tricky, because I don’t think you can satisfy every employee, but I think creating a dialogue, and showing that you’re open to listening to (and potentially implementing) their ideas is important.

I would recommend using a tool to collect ideas and feedback from all of the employees in the company. Something like Yammer or Opal will make employees feel more connected, and more part of a team. This really should increase engagement. Alternatively, there are some neat team building exercises that can be done through sites like Officevibe that will allow your employees to collaborate outside of an application to solve problems.

I’m sure there are many more reasons why your employees might be disengaged, but these are the three that I think have the biggest impact. It’s really quite easy to fix a lot of these issues, and they can have a real long term effect on the success of your company. If you’re still doing any of the three things I mentioned, please stop.

What do you think? Any other reasons you can think of for why employees might be disengaged?

jacob shriarThis is a guest post by Jacob Shriar, the Growth Manager at OfficevibeWhen he is not reinventing the world over a glass of scotch, he likes to find new skills to learn.