Study: Worker Disengagement Hurts Profitability, Customer Ratings - Modern Distribution Management

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Study: Worker Disengagement Hurts Profitability, Customer Ratings

Detached workers are also less productive and more likely to miss work.

Active disengagement of employees costs the U.S. up to $550 billion per year, according to results of the Gallup study released this summer, The State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders. Based on Gallup’s analysis of more than 25 million responses to its employee engagement survey, the study found that only 30 percent of workers are engaged and inspired at work. Fifty percent are “not engaged,” and the remaining 20 percent are “actively disengaged.”

Employee engagement in this study was measured by 12 elements Gallup says have “proven links to performance outcomes,” such as whether an employee feels their opinions count or whether they have had opportunities to learn and grow.

A lack of employee engagement has some noteworthy consequences, according to the study: “Work units in the top 25 percent of Gallup’s Q12 Client Database have significantly higher productivity, profitability, and customer ratings, less turnover and absenteeism, and fewer safety incidents than those in the bottom 25 percent.”

To improve the level of worker engagement, the study recommends such strategies as selecting the right people, developing employee’s strengths and enhancing employee wellbeing. Selecting the right managers was a critical component. “Instead of using management jobs as promotional prizes for all career paths,” the study says, “companies should treat these roles as unique with distinct functional demands that require a specific talent set,” such as the ability to empower employees.

Jim Pancero, speaking at the Fluid Power Distributors Association and International Sealing Distribution Association joint meeting in Florida in September, said in most cases sales managers are chosen because they are experienced salespeople, not because of any formal training in sales management they may have received. Read Help Your Sales Managers Be Proactive, Not Reactive for tips from Pancero on helping managers find more time to coach and strategize with their teams.

Another engagement factor noted in the Gallup report was employees’ ability to telecommute. The study found that remote workers log four more hours each week on average than those working on-site. Despite the longer days, the remote workers were more engaged than those on-site, the study found.

Other factors that positively affect employee engagement, according to the report, are the use of an employee engagement survey; the weaving of engagement metrics and goals into everyday interactions and activities; and the ability to connect with each employee. For more on the study, visit

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