Employers who want to reduce employee turnover should make sure their employees are interested in their work, research shows.
More than 60% of workers said they’d be at least somewhat likely to leave their current position if they felt their work wasn’t captivating enough, according to a study by Robert Half’s OfficeTeam. That disengagement hurts not just employees but also the company.
“When workers are disengaged, retention shouldn’t be a company’s only concern; productivity and customer service levels also suffer,” said Robert Hosking, OfficeTeam executive director at the time of the study, in a statement. “There are many factors that contribute to strong employee engagement. Chief among them is the ability of staff to reach professional goals and understand how they contribute to the organization’s big-picture objectives.”
Alienation in the workplace happens when a worker can express individuality only when they are producing work. The worker is a piece of a whole, and they begin to lose their voice. They lose their independence and become just another cog in the wheel.
Employees become emotionally separated from others and their own feelings when they feel alienated. Feelings of alienation can happen without the employee or their manager even realizing it.
Want to understand how your employees are feeling? Try presenting a feedback survey to give your employees a way to share concerns and offer an inside perspective anonymously.
Work alienation can happen for several reasons. Workers may not feel empowered to speak their minds because their bosses don’t let them know they want employee feedback. Employees might be scared to speak up or think it’s inappropriate to volunteer an honest opinion if their boss isn’t asking for it.
Additionally, work alienation could occur if bosses aren’t paying appropriate attention to employees. A performance review once a year is not enough to evaluate and track employee performance properly. Managers being in constant communication with employees and holding regular one-on-one meetings can remedy this.
If an employee is working remotely while the rest of the team is in the office, they might experience work alienation and feel out of the loop. If you host team-building activities and give your remote employees the tools they need to stay in touch with the team, they’re less likely to experience work alienation.
Employers should treat employees like human beings, not just workers. If they don’t, work alienation is likely. For instance, employees may feel alienated if they are reprimanded for taking time off. Employers creating a paid time off (PTO) policy, giving employees holidays and sick days, and being flexible when they have emergencies will make them feel more valued and seen.
If your team isn’t already remote, you could also set up a work-from-home system so that when employees need to stay home for the day, they can do so without repercussions.
When employees feel alienated from their managers and co-workers, they feel like objects, or nameless cogs in the machine. Alienation makes employees feel like they’re not needed in their jobs. As a result, they feel no loyalty to the company and are eager to look for other jobs. [Read related article: Employee Burnout and How to Identify It]
There are many ways companies alienate employees, sometimes without even realizing it. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to the signs your employees are giving you.
Here are some ways you may be alienating your employees and how to correct it, according to OfficeTeam:
Alienation comes in several forms, and all are damaging to an employee’s morale and the overall company culture.
Chad Brooks contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.