If you learned that most of your organization was “emotionally disconnected and less likely to be productive,” how would it impact your priorities? A 2013 Gallup study found only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work, meaning the vast majority, approximately 900 million workers, are disengaged, costing the U.S. economy $450 to $550 billion annually (check out “Worldwide Employees Engaged Work” for more details).
There is a silver lining. Companies with higher employee engagement levels report better productivity, profitability and customer ratings, along with lower turnover (see “Employee Engagement Drives Growth” for more details). So how do you get employee engagement back on track?
It is a complex issue. In addition to factors outlined in the Gallup report, there is mounting research analyzing the effects of increasing distraction and multitasking in the workplace and an increasingly dispersed and mobile workforce. Although most project work is done by virtual teams, staying “in-sync” and “connected” remain core challenges of remote workers (see “Two Challenges for Mobile Workers” for more details).
Video conferencing has been shown to improve engagement, discussions and decision making among virtual teams, but the technology has been unreliable, complex, costly and not widely accessible across organizations and devices. That is changing. Cloud services like FuzeBox are bringing reliable, high-quality video collaboration across devices with a freemium service that puts it within reach of nearly any worker.
There is no silver bullet for improving employee engagement, but providing more-engaging collaboration tools can quickly bring focus and more meaningful interactions to your increasingly distributed, distracted and mobile workforce.