Are Your Employees Mentally Checked Out?

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In 2018, 29% of professionals are planning to look for a new job position in the next 12 months and 53% of employees don’t expect to stay at their companies beyond five years. This is pretty bad news for business owners who are mapping out their five-year plans.

Are you hearing rumors around the office that an employee is about to jump ship? Do any of your employees seem unhappy? Disengaged? More frequently absent? Have a declining quality of work? These are huge red flags that should not be ignored.

There are some big losses that can be contributed to mentally checked out employees.

Disengaged employees:

  • Cost businesses 34% of their salaries
  • Are 10% less productive
  • Are 3 times less creative

Engaged employees:

  • Produce a 120% return on their salary
  • Are 31% more productive
  • Are 3 times more creative
  • Have 37 % higher sales

What causes lack of engagement and employee turnover?

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Limited career advancement and promotional opportunities

No room to grow? With limited opportunity for advancement, employees can feel like they’ve come to a dead end in reaching their professional goals. Employees who have no room to grow may feel underappreciated, unchallenged and underpaid. With a promotion comes more recognition, more responsibility, and most importantly a higher salary.

Workforce Institute states, ‘two-thirds of employees said they’d feel more at ease if employers were more transparent about the future.” Having a clear one-year, five-year, and even ten-year vision for the future is important for many workers – especially as artificial intelligence and improving technologies weave their way into U.S. industries. If your company can’t provide a clear vision for the future, employees will begin to look elsewhere for their pay raise or shot at a managerial position.

Want a higher salary

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If the paycheck isn’t making ends meet, employees will begin to look for other job opportunities that will provide them with a better quality of life financially. Employers can offset an employee’s desire to look elsewhere for a job by providing valued benefits and perks to the employee and their family members, invaluable coaching and mentoring, or a serious future opportunity for promotion. Be creative in giving employees opportunities to bring more revenue to the company and reward them with commissions.

Unsatisfied with benefits offering

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Along with salary, this is the #2 reason employees voluntarily leave their jobs. Do your medical benefits meet the needs of your employees? Although most employees have access to health insurance, many are unhappy with some aspect of their employer’s plan. In fact, 61% of employees would take a job with another company if the benefits package was more attractive.

Poor management

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An employee will be quick to blame their manager’s behavior as the primary reason for leaving a company. Only one in five U.S. employees would strongly agree that performance management motivates them to do outstanding work. In fact, Gallup analytics found that only 14% of employees believe their performance reviews inspire them to improve.

Do you have the right managers in place? Gallup states, “Employees are 59% more likely to be engaged when they are supervised by highly engaged managers than actively disengaged managers.” They also estimate the cost of poor management and productivity losses from disengaged employees to be between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion per year.

Lack of clarity in their job description or role due to poor onboarding and coaching

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Employers want to hire self-starters and go-getters, but if employees lack direction or clarity in their job role, it can lead to turnover and financial loss.

The onboarding process can make or break a new hire’s first day at the office. It is important to make new hires feel welcome and a part of the team, as well as familiarized with company culture and systems. HR Daily Advisor states, “91% of employees stick around for at least a year at a new company, and 69% of them stick around for at least 3 years if the company has a well-structured onboarding program.”

Employee retention can be improved through proper training, coaching and an effective onboarding process. 37 % of hiring decision makers agree that retention rates would significantly increase if new hires had a more informative hiring/onboarding experience.

Underappreciated

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Do you check in regularly with your employees and provide positive feedback? If all your employees hear is constructive criticism, they can quickly feel underappreciated. According to Globoforce, over 80% of HR leaders believe employee recognition programs have a positive impact on employee relationships, engagement and experience, as well as organizational culture and values.

Unaligned with the company’s mission, vision and values

Do you have a strong mission, vision and values? Do you continuously communicate them to your team and get employees on board with your ‘why’? Reward Gates reports that 94% of employees and 98% of employers say connection to mission, vision and values are critical in the workplace, yet only 43% of employees feel personally aligned with their company’s mission and only 49% of employees feel aligned with their company’s values.

Stressed out

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“60% of employees report being stressed out all or most of the time at work,” states Udemy. Being in a constant state of stress at work will push employees to leave a company. It not only takes a toll on their quality of work, but on their physical and mental health. Stress in the workplace accounts for around $190 billion in healthcare costs.

Being bullied, harassed, or discriminated against

A hostile environment can immediately damage relationships and disengage employees from the workplace. Harassment can make it unenjoyable, or even unsafe, to come into work. It’s important for businesses to create a healthy workplace culture, beware of ‘bad seeds’, and have the right HR processes in place to avoid bullying, harassment and discrimination.

What encourages employees to stay?

Good Management

As we outlined above, poor management causes a ripple effect of problems in the workplace. Imagine the positive impact a good management team can make. When good management is in place, employees will rave about the workplace and stay loyal to the company.

A good manager is a rare find. Good managers create engaging and enjoyable work environments. They don’t just tell employees what do to – they teach employees how to do it. They have outstanding communication and constructive feedback. They understand how to communicate with difficult office personalities and practice the habits of likable leaders.

A good health plan

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Medical benefits are a necessity when trying to recruit top talent. They are also vital for employee retention. A February 2018 survey by AHIP found that 56% of Americans have stayed at their current job because of their health plan. Business owners must sustain a valuable benefits offering to keep turnover low.

Financial stability

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Stepping into the unknown is never fun – especially when it is risky for one’s financial situation. One of the top reasons employees choose to stay at a company is financial stability. An employee will weigh the pros and cons of flexible hours, a sense of purpose, work-life balance and an income-to-expense strategy that aligns to their personal financial goals.

A best friend at work

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Friendship is an important part of workplace culture, however only two out of ten employees feel they have a best friend in the workplace. “By moving this ratio to six in ten, organizations could realize 36% fewer safety incidents, 7% more engaged customers and 12% higher profit,” reports Gallup. Women who have a best friend in the workplace are more than twice as likely to be engaged.

An engaging workplace culture in which healthy communication is encouraged will go a long way toward creating an environment where friendships flourish.

A feeling of value, social relevance and purpose

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Do your employees feel like they are part of a bigger story? A deeper meaning? Feeling a sense of value, social relevance and purpose at work is especially important to younger generations. “Millennial employees, for example, are looking for a coach, not just a boss,” states Gallup. “They want ongoing feedback, a rich sense of purpose, and continuous personal and professional development – starting now.”

Good work-life balance

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If your employees feel as though they’ve sold their souls to their jobs, you’ve got a problem. Work-life balance is key to employee retention, however 45% of employees feel their company does not promote a healthy work-life balance.

If your employees are mentally checked out, it could be because they’re worried about financial or personal struggles while on the clock. If employees do not have time to take care of personal issues around work hours, they are likely to check out at work to deal with these issues.

A flexible work schedule

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Flexible hours are directly related to higher job satisfaction. A study by PwC found that employees with remote work flexibility were 48% more likely to rate their jobs a 10 on the happiness scale. Gallup’s State of the American Workforce report found that 51% of employees would change jobs if one offered a more flexible work schedule.

Although the popularity of flex hours are on the rise, only 38% of employees said they were able to work from home at least one day per week. The typical 9 to 5 is not as attractive as it used to be. While it might seem counter-productive, flexible hours have proven to bring a higher level of productivity to organizations. Happy employees are more productive employees. Employers adapting from scheduled hours to flexible hours will begin to see less turnover, more productivity, and higher job satisfaction among their team.

How can your business keep its employees satisfied and engaged?

There are a number of issues why employees become disengaged at work. Aliat works with small and mid-sized businesses to provide world class HR and benefits packages that truly bring value to employees. Our hands-on HR staff can assist with employee matters and help educate and guide employers through workplace issues, as well as provide additional support and resources for recruiting, onboarding and employee handbooks. Aliat also equips employers with the best healthcare benefits at the lowest rates, as well as a comprehensive wellness platform that educates and engages your employees with proven strategies to keep your rates low and your employees happy and healthy. Our healthcare package comes with an Employee Assistance Program that gives your employees 24/7 support with issues ranging from mental, physical and financial health and wellness. At Aliat, we know that if you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of you! We’ll help you get there.