Is your team disengaged? Then ask yourself these questions

Rahat Joshi
September 15, 2023
Is your team disengaged? Then ask yourself these questions

During uncertain times, employees turn to the people they trust the most to have their backs: their managers.

And that's not surprising, because managers have a key role to play in helping their teams navigate situations (and especially challenging ones). Acting as a confidante to your employees can therefore go a long way in increasing employee engagement, as well as preventing turnover at a time when companies NEED to hold onto high performers more than ever.

In our recent survey, we’ve looked at the signs of lost trust in business and how it affects turnover. It's clear - 75% are more likely to leave a manager who aren’t open and honest, and 84% who feel their management team makes poor decisions are more likely to leave.

So let's focus on the areas you can control to increase employee engagement when it is starting to degrade. To help you create true team success in challenging times, we’ve compiled a list of questions so you can play your part in tackling the issue of keeping your employees happy and preventing them from leaving (when you need them the most!):

1. Are you creating an environment of trust?

Our research shows that trust is essential to employee wellbeing and engagement. And trust in the workplace can be divided into two categories;

1. An employee’s belief that their manager has their best interests at heart.

2. The ability for an employee to be truly honest, safe in the knowledge any risk they take won’t be used as retribution if things go wrong.

From baby boomers to gen Z, every generation of workers wants to feel heard and be an active participant of their company’s success. And that requires taking risks. But employees will only take risks if they know it’s safe for them to do so.

This is where the manager’s role is critical. A manager who fosters an environment where all ideas can be discussed openly allows employees to share their views and suggestions. It creates an atmosphere of psychological safety, which increases the trust between employee and manager, and where innovation and creativity can flow naturally. Want to learn how to build a culture of fearless feedback? Then this webinar of for you.

2. Do you offer high job satisfaction?    

Employees with low job satisfaction are 88% more likely to leave their current place of work. This staggering number comes with another worrying sign: employees who feel they don’t have fun at work are 75% more likely to leave too. Over the past three years, workers have also reflected on the meaningfulness of their work and whether their current role aligns with their potential and interests.  

There's many factors that decides if employees are satisfied with their job or not. The managers have a challenge on their hands. If they manage to create a fun environment regardless of external circumstances there's a much higher chance of retaining employees. We've written a complete guide about how you can increase job satisfaction among each generation, but here's a few examples of what can be done:

- Create healthy competition among employees to keep them focused on a bigger goal

- Build a culture of recognition and celebrating wins in a public manner

- Invite employees to submit fun ideas to pursue

- Host unusual activities the team will appreciate

3. Do your employees find their work meaningful?

Meaningfulness at work varies from one person to another. While our research shows that there is a consensus among employees that being treated fairly and doing work that makes a difference is essential, there is also a huge disconnect between employees’ values and the impact they think they can have on their business. In fact,  less than 3 in 10 employees feel fully connected to their company’s purpose.

This is a serious issue, as lack of meaningfulness impacts all generations’ decision to leave a company. From Baby Boomers believing that the company is not making investments that will make the lives of future generations better, through to Gen Z feeling that the business does not take enough ethics and social responsibility, poor meaningfulness leads to turnover across all generations.

This shows a lack of alignment between employees and managers. As a manager, you can address it by:

- Including questions about meaningfulness and purpose during your 1:1s with each member of your team

- Articulating the company’s purpose to your team, ensuring you communicate it in a way that aligns with each person’s values

- Work with each team member to ensure they are given opportunities to work on meaningful work

Would you like to get practical advice on how to make make work more meaningful for your team, read this blog post.

Let's sum it up

Keeping employees during changing times is a challenging job. But keeping them engaged shouldn’t be.

To learn more about ways you can increase employee engagement and prevent turnover, download our Fighting Turnover report. You can also find more specific information by reading our guides - How to regain organisational trust or How to increase job satisfaction.

Rahat is a Senior People Scientist at Winningtemp. She has a Masters in Industrial Management, with over 18 years experience as an HR/Organizational Behavior professional within a wide range of roles such as Organizational Development, HR Analytics, building and executing people strategies. At Winningtemp, her work centers around bringing a scientific mindset to organizational challenges and translating people data into actionable insights to improve business performance. She applies her HR experience to design solutions that provide a better world of work for employees.

About the author
Rahat Joshi

Focusing on people

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