Alarmingly, a recent Gallup Poll* of 25 million employees worldwide indicated that only 13% of those surveyed felt engaged in their jobs. This means only 13% of the world’s workers feel a sense of passion for their work, a deep connection to their job, and a sense of wanting to drive the company forward. Put another way, the results indicate that almost 90% of workers worldwide are emotionally disconnected from their place of work and are therefore less likely to be productive.
It’s such a shame that so many people endure rather enjoy what they do!
Add these statistics to the stresses of moving from a place of security, to a world of the unknown for an internationally recruited employee (foreign hire), and we see extra pressure on companies to keep these important, and often expensive recruits engaged and happy. Why? Because the risk is that foreign hires will cut contracts short and return home if they and/or their family members have not settled well into their new country. An unsettled employee is a disengaged employee, and as mentioned earlier, a disengaged employee is not fully productive.
Attrition rates increase when foreign hires are disengaged at work, or if they are generally unhappy with the decision to move overseas. Employee attrition is therefore an extremely expensive and frustrating exercise for employers; it affects a company’s return on investment (ROI), and it will have a negative effect on those employees left to cover the void left by the departing employee, particularly if the foreign hire was employed at management level. This in turn will have a negative affect on the team’s engagement levels, and worse still may cause dysfunction amongst team members. It’s a bit like when the coach or captain of a sports team quits; the impact on those expecting to produce results can be disastrous!
It is therefore important to remember this simple equation:
Workplace Engagement = Less Attrition and Dysfunction = Higher ROI
As I mentioned in the ‘Five Crucial Reasons’ blog, studies show that productivity increases by up to 31% and stress reduces by 23%, if employees are engaged and happy in their jobs.**
If this hasn’t sold you yet, then think about it this way…. To win more customers and therefore a bigger market share, companies must first win the hearts and minds of its employees.
Here at Cross-Cultural TransitioNZ we have a passion for improving the lives of all people who work in an intercultural setting, because we know that value is added not just to the bottom line, but to lives in general, when we live in a culturally competent world.
* Gallup- State of the Global Workplace (2013)
** Shawn Achor, Good Think Project.