Engaged, Disengaged or Actively Disengaged: Which Are You?

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When it comes to being a CSR, would you consider yourself a motivated, “engaged” employee? An engaged employee is one who is involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their job, and they contribute positively to their organization. So, do you feel you would classify yourself as one that is actively on the lookout to be of assistance to customers? One who enjoys tackling the tough customer situations and seeing them through until resolved? When you are on the job, are you working with purpose, or just killing time until the whistle blows? Do you find yourself hiding from customers, ignoring them, looking busy, or pushing them to other employees?

The 2013 State of the American Workplace Report from Gallup is a result of 3 years of study, compiling results from 350,000 respondents, taking a look at how American’s feel about their jobs. The description of the report itself gives even more insight into the purpose of the data:

This latest report provides insights into what leaders can do to improve employee engagement and performance in their companies. It includes an overview of the trend in U.S. employee engagement, a look at the impact of engagement on organizational and individual performance, information about how companies can accelerate employee engagement and an examination of engagement across different segments of the U.S. working population.

The report concludes that only 30% of employees are Engaged, while 52% are Not Engaged and 18% are Actively Disengaged. That is to say that 70% of Americans are not engaged, meaning they are not being productive in their jobs, nor do they consider their workplace a happy place to be. “Gallup estimates that these actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity. They are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away,” the report states. In an economy that is already suffering, this is a big blow to the financial infrastructure that is already shaky at best, and just prolongs the current horrible jobs condition.

One writer as Statesman.com sums it up by saying “On the work satisfaction scale, Americans overwhelmingly relate more with Dilbert than Donald Trump.” The article goes on to sum up some of the findings as:

  • Only 22 percent of U.S. employees are engaged and thriving. 
  • Only 41 percent of employees felt they knew what their company stands for and what makes it different from competitors.
  • Millennials are most willing to leave for a better opportunity in the next 12 months. Workers at the beginning and end of their career are more likely to 'buy in” to their jobs.
  • Remote workers actually work longer hours than their in-office counterparts. 

The report also looks at the education factor, and determines that more education (often meaning more income) does not change things that significantly. For college graduates, 28% were Engaged, 55% Not Engaged, and 17% Actively Disengaged. While for high school graduates, it was 32% Engaged, 49% not Engaged, and 19% actively Disengage. 

Women, according to the results, are more engaged than men, with Engaged women being at 33% and men at 28%. It also discovered that remote workers are more Engaged, at 32%, over those on-site employees, coming in at 28%.

Victor Lipman at Forbes.com concludes:

At a micro level, the leading factor influencing employee engagement is widely accepted to be an employee’s relationship with his or her own direct manager.

This sentiment is amplified in the report by Gallup CEO Jim Clifton “Here’s something they’ll probably never teach you in business school: The single biggest decision you make in your job – bigger than all of the rest – is who you name manager.  When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision.  Not compensation, not benefits – nothing.”

Managers are seen as pivotal for making a job culture a pleasurable place to be, leading to more satisfied employees and that means more engaged employees. But even a bad manager cannot be totally blamed for a bad workforce.

So, the bottom line is, as you are seeking to secure a job in the customer service industry, you have to determine what category that you, as an employee, would best be classified as. How would a previous employer classify you? In order to be a truly successful employee, you must be active and productive, and not just one who is taking up space, and be able to prove that you are to the hiring agent during the interview.

Image courtesy of Imagery Feelart at FreeDigitialPhotos.net


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