Voice of the Employee

3 Common Causes of Employee Disengagement

Employee Engagement is important in business. Learn causes of disengagement, and how a Voice of the Employee program can help improve employee experience.

Bored woman wearing glasses sitting at a desk
Sean McDade, PhD

Sean McDade, PhD

Founder & CEO, PeopleMetrics

This the second recent blog post that focuses on employee disengagement and a poor employee experience.

Here, I outline the three most common causes of a poor employee experience:

Bored woman wearing glasses sitting at a desk

1. Trust in Management

Research has found that lack of trust in company leaders is a major factor in employee disengagement. Under this heading we can place a couple of specific reasons why employees lack trust in their leaders.

  • Management handles change poorly.
    A Right Management/Manpower study found that 94% of employees who report that organizational change was not handled well are disengaged. In comparison, Right Management found that that disengagement rate went down to 40% disengagement among employees who reported that change was handled well. Good communication was found to be a major component in whether employees felt that change was handled well.

  • No personal / emotional connection to management.
    PeopleMetrics has consistently found that knowing one’s manager personally tends to increase an employee’s engagement dramatically.

2. Purpose, Meaning, or Connection to Organizational Vision

When your employees are alienated from the final impact their work has on the world, there is little motivation for them to expend any discretionary effort.

When employees can see how their hours at the office are changing the world, improving customers’ lives, or otherwise making a difference, they are more likely to get fired up about their work.

On a company-wide level, Employee Engagement is nearly impossible to foster without leadership first recognizing the underlying mission of the organization.


3. Opportunities to Grow or Advance

In many of PeopleMetrics' studies, the top reason employees stated for leaving their company was “I don’t have opportunities to grow or advance.” They are looking for jobs that will allow them to continue to grow as individuals.

The other two areas that employees often say would increase their employee satisfaction is career development and training, and "more opportunities to do what I do best." Encourage and empower your employees to continue learning and growing, and they’ll reward you with higher productivity levels.

Remember that people are complicated beings, and work around Employee Engagement can be as difficult and messy as it is fascinating and rewarding.

A company that commits to creating a customer-centric culture that fosters engagement will continue to be rewarded with growth.


Want more? Check out these related posts!


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About the Author

Sean McDade, PhD is the author of Listen or Die: 40 Lessons That Turn Customer Feedback Into Gold. He founded PeopleMetrics in 2001 and is the architect of the company’s customer experience management (CEM) software platform. As CEO, he guides the company’s vision and strategy. Sean has over 20 years of experience helping companies measure and improve the customer experience. Earlier in his career, he spent five years at the Gallup Organization, where he was the practice leader of their consulting division. His company offers CEM software with advanced machine learning solutions and hands-on analytical support to help companies make sense of their CX data. Sean holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing science from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has published eight articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and has taught over 25 marketing classes. Sean was named a 40 under 40 award recipient of the Philadelphia region. He is an active Angel Investor, including investments in Tender Greens, CloudMine and Sidecar.

Topic: Employee Experience

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