Employee disengagement is a serious defect in organisations of the day. We are loosing millions in profitability and few percentage points in ROCE. Even a small discretionary effort by employees result in humongous improvement in productivity and creativity.
This defect has been and is being debated in HR conferences (somehow always arranged in star hotels). My take on it is:
Anonymity - Large organisations lose sight of employees. This results in anonymity which then causes loss of accountability. Great people see this very clearly and get disengaged.
Bystander Apathy- How does this connect to me and my Job? Nobody bends over to pick up fallen things (read processes, lost business, defects...),
Idea killers- All organisations have idea killers, who know it all and have done it all. They have no business of being in business, but here they are killing businesses which have kept them in business. People get cut off and smart people become dumb/ silent. Organisation becomes ideas poor.
So what needs to be done:
Maintain a line of sight with all your people. Be the over communicator and don't stop at hierarchy
Shoot Bystanders and reward whistle blowers
Mercilessly murder idea killers- go digital, communicate, communicate and over communicate. Build your reward and recognition system around the innovation culture
Believe that you are not the only smarts around, harness creative energies of your people. Create attractive Idea gardens and not dump grounds.