Worldwide, 79% of full-time employees are disengaged at work according to advisory firm Gallup.  60% of people are emotionally detached at work and 19% are miserable.  They discovered these remarkable statistics after surveying 112,312 business units in 96 countries for their 2022 State of the Global Workplace report.

Even more alarming than finding only 21% of employees around the world are fully engaged in their work, the survey also revealed that in answering the question, “Did you feel stress yesterday?”, 59% answered “yes”!

The survey also found that employee engagement trends in Australia and New Zealand are just as astonishing, with only 17% engaged in their work, and 47% having experienced stress the day before answering the survey.

This means that only 17% of employees in Australia and New Zealand are focused enough to contribute and align to their team’s objectives and productivity.

Another survey, ELMO’s HR Industry Benchmark Survey 2019, found that 1 in 12 respondents said employee engagement is taking up too much of HR’s time. 

What is employee engagement? 

This is a question that seems to have an obvious answer, but different managers, depending on their behavioural style, tend to view the issue from different perspectives.  Employee engagement is the level of commitment and effort that an employee puts into their job, and the degree of satisfaction they derive from their efforts. Because this can be interpreted differently by individuals with differing behavioural styles, it is not easy to measure.

However, Gallup’s two definitions of employee engagement are worth quoting –

Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their role, honour workplace values and take the initiative because they want to accomplish goals and help the organisation to succeed”.

“Disengaged employees do the bare minimum and take no pride in their work. In extreme cases, “actively disengaged” people show they’re unhappy and undermine the achievements of their colleagues”.

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    So, how does your organisation measure up against these global engagement trends?

    The importance of employee engagement cannot be over-emphasised. Dissatisfied staff can lead to an increase in staff attrition rates and contribute to poor customer service leading to customer dissatisfaction and ultimately to a reduction in turnover. 

    Obviously, employee engagement must be a fundamental focus for all team managers.  They need to identify and address any signs of disengagement in their team as disengaged teams ultimately contribute to an unhappy and unproductive workplace. Alternatively, highly engaged teams are productive, unified, and aligned with the team’s objectives.  

    How do you monitor and measure team performance?

    Regular and constant communication is essential for monitoring and measuring team performance. Regular and all-inclusive team meetings should be a fundamental part of this process. We specifically recommend:

    • Regular meetings with individual team members focusing on self-evaluation of their individual performance and the team’s performance.
    • Identifying the different behavioural styles of each individual team member with an Extended DISC® Behavioural Assessment.  This will help each individual understand the behavioural differences within the team environment.
    • Regular team meetings with open discussion on matters involving performance, including service levels, output and expected outcomes.
    • Obtaining an Extended DISC®  Team Assessment to identify how each team member fits and communicates in the team environment and to assist in promoting greater understanding within the team.
    • Setting achievable productivity and performance targets and measurable outcomes.
    • Creating checklists of ideal employee values that are realistic, achievable and meaningful.

    Obtain feedback from the team by using Open 360 Assessments.  These reports are designed to the specific requirements of the organisation and are important in developing the performance of employees, teams and organisations.

    There are various Key Performance Indicators that may be adapted to measure team performance, but the following are generally accepted as providing an all-round view of employee engagement:

    • Open 360-degree feedback to gauge employee satisfaction
    • Customer satisfaction surveys
    • The quality of internal processes
    • The client retention rate
    • Financial performance measurement
    • Understanding the individual behavioural styles within the team.

    Other more obvious measures include gauging the internal “climate” within the team environment, the communication between team members and the general agreement on the team’s clarity of purpose and values.  Do team members feel valued? And perhaps most importantly, do all team members understand why their fellow team members tend to communicate differently?

    What are the best tools for improving team performance?

    There are several tools that can be used effectively to improve team performance.

    • The Extended DISC® Behavioural Assessment provides information on an individual’s natural behaviour and compares it with the behaviour they feel they need to adopt to cope with their current environment.  The assessment identifies a person’s strengths, weaknesses, and development areas and explains what they will try to avoid.  It also identifies emotional issues that are likely to impact on the individual’s behaviour
    • The Extended DISC®  Team Behavioural Assessment combines all the information obtained from the individual team members’ assessments.  Team Extended DISC®  Assessments are highly useful tools in helping identify a team’s preferred way of doing things, natural strengths, and areas for development.
    • An Open 360° Review commonly combines an individual’s self-assessment with feedback from managers, peers and direct reports, anonymously, into one report. The 360 is an excellent tool for monitoring team development and measuring the results of decisions made to improve team engagement.  It is also used in applications such as coaching, leadership and man­agement development. 

    If you would like to try any of the mentioned tools, get in touch! 

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    How to create a more productive and engaged team environment

    Team alignment and an understanding of an organisation’s purpose and values are critical.  Every team member needs to feel they add value and contribute to meeting the organisation’s objectives.  The following processes have proved effective in helping empower team members to be more engaged and productive.

    • Create an enjoyable work environment.  Studies have found that the actual physical work environment contributes enormously to a happy workplace, and this includes effective air conditioning, good lighting, maybe some plants and a layout that allows for some privacy but not isolation.
    • Build and develop a happy workplace culture. As part of creating an enjoyable work environment, there needs to be a focus on workplace culture.  Workplace culture comprises the values, attitudes and understandings that are shared by the team, and is dependent on common assumptions created by the cultural and social backgrounds of the individuals in the team.  The individual natural unconscious behaviour of each team member (identifiable with Extended DISC®®) can contribute to, or disrupt, the overall culture of a team, which means that behavioural assessment should be an important step in the recruitment process. Building a culture that creates an enjoyable atmosphere is important and effective leadership and management is paramount.  The behavioural styles of leaders and managers make a significant impact on workplace culture and for this reason obtaining an Extended DISC®® Leadership Behavioural Report (or a Management Behavioural Report) will assist in promoting effective communication and understanding. 
    • Incentivise your team.  This means rewarding employees who “go the extra mile” but additionally it’s understanding that if all team members contribute to meeting the team’s objectives and budgets, an equally shared reward is an effective method for recognising and emphasising the importance of team contribution.
    • Identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Extended DISC® Behavioural Assessments identify and report on an individual’s motivators, their clear natural strengths, situations that reduce motivation and their development areas. By focusing on an individual’s strengths and helping them to avoid situations that demotivate them, you can assist them to develop and contribute to the team’s goals.  The Extended DISC® Team Reports summarise this information and graphically show where each individual’s behavioural style fits in a team environment and how each team member can best contribute to the team’s success.  Reports can be tailored to focus on the specific requirements of an organisation’s activities. 
    • Promote open communication.  All team members have their own communication style and miscommunication can lead to misunderstandings and even disruption.  Without effective and clear communication, teams may struggle to work effectively. Extended DISC® Behavioural Analysis Assessments identify each individual’s communication style, as part of developing a strong team culture.  You may choose to share this information with all team members, creating a better understanding of why people can be misunderstood.  Some team members may be blunt and to the point, others more reserved and reluctant to speak up, some may be more outgoing and conversational while others “go with the flow”.  Extended DISC®® identifies and reports on 160 different behavioural styles, so the reports are very precise in recognising slight variations and differences in communication styles.    
    • Recognise emotional changes in a team member.  In the current economic climate, there are very real pressures on individuals, and these are not necessarily confined to financial issues.  Team members may be reluctant to be open with their team leaders and privacy must always be paramount, but by obtaining an Extended DISC® Behavioural Report about team members, emotional issues can be identified.  The reports are carefully worded to ensure confidentiality, but those trained to understand the reports will be able to identify stress, pressure, uncertainty of role, frustration, and other complex emotions. Extended DISC® Reports recognise an individual’s natural unconscious behaviour and compare it with the person’s adjusted behaviour (the behaviour they feel they need to adopt to cope with their present environment) and highlight the differences.  When these reports are shared with others, or perhaps even just with the team leader, there is an opportunity for discussion about issues that otherwise might remain suppressed.
    • Encourage your team to be independent and to make their own decisions.  Too often managers tend to underestimate the knowledge and experience of those “at the coal-face”. Giving team members their own responsibilities increases connection, allows for active contribution to company efficiency and effectiveness and makes people more accountable.
    • Give constructive feedback on employee development.   Openly discuss areas where an improvement in processes or productivity could improve efficiency, and where warranted, deliver praise!  This could also include gaining feedback on a raft of other issues impacting the team by using a specially tailored Open 360 feedback process. An Open 360 questionnaire is a feedback tool for measuring the skills, behaviours, and competencies of an individual concerning their job role and general workplace conduct.  It can be tailored to focus on specific aspects such as team engagement and relationships. Organisations can then use the insights from the 360 feedback to form employee development strategies. This can, and should be, a regular process, measuring the effectiveness of remedial action taken following an earlier report.  
    • Involve and collaborate with team members. Show your team that you value their opinions and contributions by involving them in discussions.

    Efficient and effective team performance can only be achieved through having engaged employees and through making constant and consistent improvements.  

    HR Profiling Solutions’ highly qualified team members are experienced in helping identify the best fit tools for your company and helping you get the best use from the FinxS online platform.  Reports and assessments can be tailored to the specific needs of a company and consultants working with HR Profiling Solutions can be assured that they are relevant, appropriate, commercially focused and easy to understand.