Engage Employees In The Weeds, Not The Clouds
Typically organizations measure employee engagement rates to find out "how well we're doing."
Also typically most employees are nearly or totally checked out of the job, with reputable polling companies like Gallup putting the proportion at 70%.
Think about that: In an economy powered by emotional and intellectual capital, fully seven out of every ten people would rather be somewhere else.
The fact that most workers are disengaged from their jobs is mirrored by the level of actual or contemplated disengagement from marriage. We know that almost 50% of first marriages in the United States (and more than 60% of second marriages) end in divorce, but how many spouses are "checked out" of their relationships well before the marriage ends?
In November 2015 the Institute for Family Studies found that more than 50% of currently married respondents to their national survey (3,000 respondents aged 25-50) have "thought about divorce at some point" and 25% had done so in the past 6 months.
Marriage expert Dr. Terri Orbuch, interviewed in the Wall Street Journal, researches the hard lessons learned by people who went through divorce. Her advice for married people is 100% about communication. Not communication that is "pie in the sky," but rather communication on a moment-by-moment, in-the-moment basis:
- Be loving and supportive
- Talk about money openly
- Stop thinking about the past
- Focus on fixing the relationship right now, not on blaming the other person
- Be open with the other person - help them understand your feelings
So to put it in a nutshell: Marriages begin to end when the partners emotionally disconnect from one another.
In just the same way, says work expert Victor Lipman, your job is really reducible to your relationship with the boss: "People leave managers, not companies."
If you want to bring your employees back into the fold, you have to connect with them emotionally. You aren't in a personal marriage with them, of course, but you are in a kind of professional one.
Instead of focusing on complicated, fancy, expensive ways to get them to "check back in," start with things like stopping to say hello, sincerely, in the morning.
All opinions my own.