No matter what level in an organization, there are four potential forces of employee disengagement. We might think about the difference between engaged employees and disengaged employees as the difference between those who “want to” versus those who “have to” when it comes to how they feel about their work.
The “have to” person is just barely meeting the minimum requirements of a job while the “want to” person is much more productive.
I think we can all agree that we want a productive workforce, people that are engaged, those that come to work happy. We want our people on the trajectory of the want to curve. And we desperately want to avoid the have to curve – these folks are typically disengaged, doing the bare minimum.
I/O psychologists have found four active forces working against us that block organizations from achieving great results. These forces pull down your people on the “want to” curve and they inhibit the people on the “have to” line to step up.
The four forces are:
Job Fit – Poorly defined positions, sloppy hiring processes, or evolving business needs create a mismatch between employees and their roles. Lack of job fit directly impacts motivation and productivity. Someone who is in the wrong role or who doesn’t have the right support to do their job is not going to be excited about the work they do every day. A mis-hire can be devastating on an individual’s performance while also impacting the morale of others around them.
Manager – The relationship between employees and their managers is critical, yet many managers are poorly equipped or not trained to effectively understand their employees’ individual needs. They struggle to communicate with and motivate their employees.
Team – Team-based work is more critical than ever, yet poor communication, insufficient collaboration, and inability to manage the tensions inherent to teamwork continue to extract a massive tax on productivity and innovation. Toxic teams put goals at risk.
Culture – (cultural misalignment) is another critical area that can block great results. To be productive and engaged, employees need to feel they belong. When they feel out of tune with their organization’s values, or when they lose trust in their leadership, their own performance suffers, and they can create a toxic work environment that undermines productivity.
How to Restore Engagement
There are tools in the marketplace which can increase employee engagement in the job, manager, team, and culture. One of those tools is The Predictive Index (PI). The PI helps companies through job targeting, employee experience surveys, behavioral and cognitive assessments, and strategy surveys.