South African industries are constantly under pressure as miscommunication and disinformation continues to drive a wedge between employers and their employees.
Not only does this disconnect often result in rolling mass action but it also affects the production and profitability of companies across all sectors of society. Around the world the root cause of this ‘disconnect’ has been identified as poor employee engagement.
A recent survey by Communications and Technology company, PDT, of MyBroadBand.co.za users indicated that a staggering 85% of respondents felt their companies could do significantly more in this regard.
What is Employee Engagement?
“Employee engagement should not be confused with the social state of staff or how happy people are to sit through an 8 to 5 working day,” says Cornel van Lingen, CEO of the PDT Group. “An engaged employee is one that positively and proactively influences business operations.
- They are innovative
- They are problem solvers and,
- As research in the US, UK and elsewhere shows, they contribute massively to productivity and the profitability of their companies.”
South African Employers Mirror their US and UK Counterparts
Around the world, employee engagement and the associated benefits of getting it right has been the topic of many research papers in both the public and private sectors.
- Gallup estimates that unengaged (read unproductive) employees in the UK costs their economy $64.8 billion a year, with only 33% of workers actively engaged by their employers.
Of the 1,032 survey participants in the PDT survey:
- 67% felt their managers could provide stronger guidance and communicate better with
- 60% noted that their companies struggled to implement change and gain
buy-in from employees.
- 62% lamented the lack of regular feedback on company performance against goals.
This indicates an alarming lack of communication and/or perceived leadership in South African businesses and enterprises – the economic impact of which is staggering.