The Great Disengagement: What Is It and How Can Employers Fix It?


Employee engagement is vital for organizational success in the digital-first workplace. Christina Gialleli of Epignosis explores why prioritizing career development and personalized training can drive motivation and productivity.

Engaged employees work in sync with the organization’s goals and simultaneously don’t feel any pressure to perform. But this is only feasible if the relationship between your people and the organization is concrete, comfortable, and trustworthy.

An organization’s high employee engagement rate means having enthusiastic employees of all levels that don’t need micromanagement to perform well. But which lever drives employee engagement in today’s digital-first workplace?

These drivers will help you put the right employee engagement ideas in place and succeed in motivating employees to do their absolute best. In brief, you need to understand what truly motivates your employees and deliver it. And deliver it the way the modern workforce needs it.

Let’s shed light on employee engagement and explore ideas for building motivated and engaged teams in the modern workplace.

Why Is Employee Engagement So Crucial?

Engagement is imperative in today’s digital-first and hybrid work environment, with employees being dispersed all over. The pandemic completely altered how we work, but it also allowed people to reconsider their priorities regarding the workplace and their work/life balance. Companies have learned how important engagement is to the business’s success by keeping employees happy, preventing burnout, and retaining employees amid tough economic times.

Employee engagement is also important in today’s job market, where companies face difficulties finding and retaining talent.

Alleviating Disengagement in the Workplace

A crucial step before delving into employee engagement best practices is to manage to alleviate employee disengagement. 

Investing in employees’ learning and personal development is a great way to boost motivation. Employees are a company’s biggest asset, but if they are unhappy or engaged in their work, performance will stay the same, and more internal problems will likely arise. 

Upskilling and reskilling are powerhouse practices for building competencies among employees as well as shortening the skills gaps. Giving workers access to continued learning and career development will allow companies to grow harmoniously with their employees and create a great working environment.

How Does Career Development Impact Employee Engagement?

Employees citedOpens a new window a lack of career development opportunities as one of the main factors leading to disengagement. So, what are the benefits of prioritizing the career development of employees?

Prioritizing career development and offering training opportunities elevates employee satisfaction and overall performance. According to the TalentLMSOpens a new window study, 75% of employees find training beneficial for their engagement at work, professional development (82%), and productivity (80%).

When employees see their employer values their growth and development, they are happier and more enticed to participate in their everyday responsibilities and drive successful results.

Offering these opportunities also creates competitive advantages for employers when retaining and attracting talent. For instance, 76% of employees are more likely to stay with a company that offers continuous training, and 8 in 10 leaders find comprehensive training and development programs to be a talent magnet.

Tips for Skyrocketing Employee Development and Engagement

So, What should employers do to meet all employees’ development needs?

1. Ask employees what they want to learn

For any learning program to succeed, it must be flexible and consider different employees’ needs. To accommodate all employees’ growth and development needs, employers must ask employees directly what training or courses their people find valuable and how they’d like training to be delivered.

A great idea would be to run surveys before incorporating training into the employee L&D strategy. Encourage employees to give honest answers, which will help HR and L&D experts create training that better fits their needs. You could ask your teams:

  • What expectations do you have from your training program?
  • What topics would you like your training program to include?
  • Which skills would you like to improve?

Survey questions could give you both qualitative and quantitative data, depending on their type. Make sure you offer a variety of types, such as open and close-ended questions, Likert scale questions, or picture choice questions. 

After you collect this data, you’ll better understand your people’s preferences and adjust their training accordingly.

2. Ask your teams about their preferred training methods

Every employee learns differently, so asking employees about their preferred training delivery format is just as important. Our survey found 64% of employees prefer stimulation and learning by doing, coaching and mentoring (51%), and video formats (50%). We also learned ready-made courses (51%) and certificates (44%) were the top two features employees would like to see on a training platform.

Employee feedback is critical in meeting the needs of your workers so you can create the most customized approach to their development plans.

Thus, your pre-training survey could also include questions about the training methods your teams seek. You could ask some questions:

  • How would you want training to be delivered?
  • Do you prefer synchronous or asynchronous training?
  • Do you value social learning?
  • Does mobile training help you with better knowledge retention?
  • Would you like to attend seminars, or is coaching and mentoring better?

Then, gather your data and decide on the training methods you should opt for for your employee L&D strategy.

3. Provide extra opportunities for development – besides workplace training

Never forget that employee engagement and motivation go beyond L&D opportunities related to employees’ job descriptions. Even if work-related training is essential to achieving high performance and productivity, you could spice things up and go over and beyond by accommodating employees’ other learning and development needs.

Take the time to explore what would help your employees reach their fullest potential. For example, consider offering other types and topics of training that help employees reduce stress and boost well-being. You could offer:

  • Mental health training,
  • Mindfulness training,
  • Personal finances training,
  • Work/life balance best practices training.

Employee satisfaction doesn’t only mean higher retention levels and increased loyalty. It means having a workforce that is truly engaged and motivated to reach the top, whether it is about developing their skillsets through training or maximizing performance and productivity levels.

Another great idea is to expand those educational benefits to your employee’s family and friends. By providing “learning for all” opportunities, you increase employee well-being, show support for career advancement, and contribute to a better society.

While such initiatives are not strictly related to job tasks and performance, they help with overall wellness and motivation. Thus, they help boost productivity, engagement at work, and employee retention.

Engaged Teams = Powerful Teams

High employee engagement results from a strong L&D strategy and a workplace culture that values their unique needs. 

To satisfy your employees and ensure engagement, you should ask them directly what they want and how they want it. And after you’ve implemented your L&D strategy based on your employee data, don’t forget to ask them for feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Can prioritizing career development and personalized training help build engaged and motivated teams? Please share your thoughts with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!

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