The leaders of today’s business world are staring down a problem unlike anything they’ve seen before; their workforce, or rather, engaging them in their work. A study by Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends shows that a meager 13 percent of employees in the world are legitimately engaged in their work. That’s a pretty small percentage, and to make matters worse, over a quarter of the world’s workforce are disengaged to the point their negativity will impact others.

Some more statistics of the research include the following:

  • 86 percent of companies suffer from an inadequate leadership pipeline.
  • 79 percent have retention and engagement troubles (i.e. high turnover rate).
  • 75 percent have significant trouble attracting the employees they need.

In other words, these problems stem from poor leadership, or at the very least, a poor leadership system.

Why is this Happening?
To put it simply, today’s workers want more out of their jobs. They don’t want a position where they sit around and do meaningless work for eight or more hours a day. They want their work to mean something to someone, somewhere. They want an experience. They, just like clients, are demanding and know what they want. If they can’t get it at one place, they leave and try somewhere else, hence the low retention rate.

Overwhelming Odds
Perhaps one of the prime reasons why there is a 26 percent turnover rate in the US workforce is that two-thirds of the 21st-century workforce feel as if they are overworked. That’s right – two out of three of your employees feel like they are doing too much for too little.

To put it in economic terms, the costs outweigh the benefits, and they feel like they are sacrificing too much of their home life for their workplace. 40 percent of them work more than fifty hours a week, and the majority of them would like to work fewer hours. There are too many distractions at work that can hinder performance, and realistically, people can’t do as much without being weighed down by emails or conference calls. A lot of people find themselves working outside of work via their smartphones or other mobile devices.

Not-so-Simple Solutions
This is clearly a problem that needs to be addressed, lest companies lose a quarter of their employees annually simply due to boredom and poor leadership conditions. This shouldn’t happen, and there are ways to correct this imbalance of engagement.

Some companies have well-established work practices that have been around for years, and aren’t so sure they want to make any drastic changes. Some might be concerned that if they give the leash some slack, the dog will run free. Their problem in this situation is that part of building a great business is using trust as a foundation. If everyone gets along and trusts each other, relationships will flourish and take the company to greater heights.

Tips on How You Can Be an Engaging Leader
When it comes down to it, how engaged a worker is with their job is dependent upon their manager finding ways to motivate them. To that end, here are six tips from Forbes on what “Wise Leaders Can Do to Engage Their Employees.”

  • Stop unknowingly creating tension by expecting them to behave a certain way, rather than allowing them to be their authentic selves.
  • Detect the most positive capabilities in people.
  • Stop micromanaging and start empowering them to discover their full potential.
  • Put employees in a position of influence and allow them to discover their own potential.
  • Share your success to build their momentum.
  • Be consistent and have their backs.

We would add to this list the necessity of having working technology. Nothing causes an employee to disengage with their work quite like a painfully-slow workstation and unreliable network connection. Of course, reliable technology is just part of the equation. The biggest part is knowing and trusting your team well enough that you can motivate them.

What are some of the most effective ways that you engage your employees? Let us know in the comments.

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