Salt Lake City is committed to attracting talent. As a City, we are working to provide the amenities today’s tech workforce wants – lower cost of living, high-efficiency public infrastructure, transit options, cultural diversity, and collaboration space (among other things). But we’re living in a state where there are more job openings than people to fill them. Workforce Manager Jake Maxwell offers his latest thoughts on talent recruitment and retention in our latest blog. As always, we welcome your feedback.

What if I told you 66% of your workers are not engaged at work? Engagement in the workplace has been tracked by Gallup for nearly 20 years. They break engagement types into 3 categories: Engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged.

The most “engaged” workers are those who work hard, are invested in the mission and vision and sometimes have to be reminded by their stomachs that they have not yet eaten and they find purpose and passion in their work. Workers who are “not engaged” are described as “not your worst performers, but are indifferent to your organization”, says Dr. Jim Harter, Chief Scientist at Gallup. Those who are “actively disengaged” are those who feel they have a miserable work experience.

To give context to this “global norm”, disengagement results in approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity. The engaged workforce accounts for a recent high of 34%, while the remaining 66% are disengaged, 13% of whom presumably hate their jobs. The new workforce tends to follow passion, cause, mission, or values over salary. Jobs are less permanent, but mostly younger people want to use their skills and strengths and to be seen as an asset for these strengths, and they often want to make the world better.

So what can you be doing to engage your employees? Talk to them regularly. Make sure outcomes and metrics are clear, but also learn about their strengths and goals and leverage them toward your expected outcomes. This requires frequent communication, not just the “annual review”. Think about your own ideals for a great job? Most people want to first be seen, then to be seen as valuable. Most of the time, productivity follows from there. There is also a dangerous culture of those who “live to work” expecting everyone else to do the same. Technology has allowed work to creep into our kids soccer games, our vacations, and it’s not healthy. Providing AND normalizing vacation and leave as a healthy tool for people to reset and hopefully come back refreshed and more productive is crucial. We need to get away from saying yes to all assignments so we can seem like the most invested person on the team. Overworking takes a toll on much more than the overworked individual, which can eventually cause burnout and disengagement.

Luckily, Utah has been doing well. There have been some great companies setting the bar for how work should look in our modern age, and Utah ranked #2 for “States that love their job, according to Cultivating Culture.  In the same study, Utah came in 6th on the list of states where people said they hated their jobs (Only Utah and Alaska made both lists).

love job map

For more insights and information on how to make the most competitive workplace, contact us.