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  • Writer's pictureColin Christensen

Engagement or Implosion: Which Worker Path Are You On?

For single people with commitment issues, there’s no scarier word than “engagement”. But for managers and business owners with an eye on the bottom line, it’s DIS-engagement that keeps them up at night.

And who can blame them? A recent Gallup poll of German workers revealed that while their economy is strong, only 16% of workers are engaged in their jobs. If it just meant a low turnout at the corporate Christmas party, no one would be too concerned. But the study estimated that lack of engagement costs the German economy 287 billion euros a year in lost productivity.

On the surface, another Gallup poll seemed to paint a brighter picture for North American companies, pegging engagement at 29%. The bad news: We’re at the point where 29% engagement is good news!

The worse news is that 54% are not engaged and 18% are actively disengaged. Hmmm, somehow that totals 101%, but it still adds up to disaster for organizations.

Closer to home, Edmonton-based Psychometrics Canada surveyed 368 HR managers across the country. 69% of respondents said engagement was a problem in their organizations.

Dissing engagement

So what’s going on? Why is worker engagement on the ropes? According to Dale Carnegie Training, there are three leading causes of disengagement for employees:

  • dissatisfaction with their direct manager

  • lack of confidence in senior leadership, and

  • lack of pride in the company’s contributions to society

With research also showing that employee engagement has a dramatic impact on productivity, morale and staff turnover rates, it’s clearly vital to corporate success.

Team spirit

Fortunately, by taking a few key steps as an owner or manager, you can stop the bleeding and pump new life into any organization. It all starts with focusing on the needs of your team members:

  1. Get alignment around your corporate CORE, which includes Vision, Mission (purpose), Values, and goals (more on this and a step-by-step guide in a future article)

  2. Start understanding the roles and who needs to do what to accomplish your goals and achieve your vision

  3. Understand what motivates and inspires your people

With that alignment and understanding in place, you can focus on building healthy teams aligned around the CORE. That’s critical, because once you have everyone in the same boat and rowing in the same direction, teams are happier, healthier and yes, engaged. Before long, you’ll be seeing employees taking ownership of their roles, leading to better productivity, higher retention and even happier customers.

It may all sound daunting, but keep in mind that no one is an expert at everything. You don’t have to know it all, just know enough to call in the Ninjas when you need a nudge in the right direction.


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