Counting the cost of disengagement

Counting the cost of disengagement

Research by Steelcase, the world’s leading provider of office furnishings and innovative workspace solutions, shows that the cost of disengaged employees is having a major impact on the performance of businesses as they strive to recover from acute economic challenges of recent years. 

Speaking at the HR Directors summit in Birmingham today, Catherine Gall, Director, Design Alliances for Steelcase, said: “The impact of employee engagement – or the lack of it – cannot be underestimated. It is a global issue and is affecting a wide range of companies, including leading organisations with teams of employees distributed around the world.” Ms Gall said: “In the UK alone only 83 percent of employees say they are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. The 17 percent who say they are engaged compares with 30 percent in the United States. This level of engagement should be of serious concern for leading businesses and organisations.”

“The business benefits of fully engaged employees are clear. Those businesses outperform competition, enjoy higher productivity and profitability, suffer less staff turnover, absenteeism and safety incidents.” However, a renaissance of the office, is underway with innovative companies realising that the right office environment is crucially important to their business interest. There is now a move to get back to the office following a trend in recent years to encourage flexible working away from the office. Ms Gall said: “Recently, companies such as Jones Lang La Salle and Yahoo have articulated how important it is to get teams of employees collaborating effectively and that is best done in an inspiring workplace.

“We strongly believe in the power of place and that bringing people together in a space will make them more collaborative and innovative. Therefore, workplaces need to be destinations that enhance the physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing of workers. People, purpose and place are the three key elements to encourage and activate greater employee engagement. The tools and the technologies are there to help that happen and are developing all the time. The utilisation of those tools, the creation of innovative space and a commitment to accommodate the wellbeing of employees can go a long way to creating a dynamic and productive space that will deliver tangible benefits to a company”. 

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