by Mike Neill

Are Your Employees Disengaged?

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My Southern drawl can either soothe or irritate a person. Clearly, in this case, it was the latter. The attendant’s tight, clipped, angry voice greeted me on my first call to the credit union. She was upset that I didn’t know the extension of the person I was trying to reach. She put me on hold for several minutes and was irritated when she found me still on the line. If I had been a potential member, I would have hung-up and found another credit union. Thankfully, I was just the consultant her credit union had hired to help them identify and help unengaged employees, such as herself. 

According to Gallup Poll research, 55 percent of employees say they are disengaged in the work of the organization. More alarmingly, 16 percent say they are actively disengaged. These employees are consistently against virtually everything. If you can think of certain employees when you read this, you have unengaged employees.

Not all unengaged employees are mean and irritable. Many times, they are popular among their peers or even among members. They can be a lot of fun to work with but they are actively resisting the commitments you’ve made to members. They are resistant to change and sometimes actively sabotage it. Other unengaged employees care just enough to keep their jobs and will meet minimum standards. Remember unengaged employees may even be managers.

There are financial implications to having unengaged employees. According to Gallup, unengaged employees cost the American economy up to $350 billion annually in lost productivity. How much are your unengaged employees costing your credit union in lost membership, productivity, products, and revenue?

On the flip-side, engaged employees have an emotional and intellectual commitment to your credit union. Their commitment produces behavior that fulfills promises made to members which, in turn, improves revenue. Engaged employees feel they are vital to the credit union’s mission and calling. As a result, members start viewing them as trusted advisors which in turn has a positive impact on your credit union’s revenue. In order to have a thriving member experience culture, you must hire, cultivate and promote engaged employees.