Highly engaged staff are more likely to be frequently late for work and to undertake personal activities when they get there.
A report by reward provider Red Letter Days for Business compared the time management of highly engaged employees with that of their less engaged co-workers and the results revealed some surprising findings.
The headline is that just under half (48%) of highly engaged employees regularly undertake personal tasks during work time; however the biggest surprise is that 20% of highly engaged workers will be late to work up to 50% of the time, as opposed to just 8% of those with low engagement.
Engaged Employees versus Un-Engaged Employees
46% more likely to check social media 29%
20% arrive late to work up to 50% of the time 6%
68% more likely to work overtime 52%
16% more likely to take personal calls 13%
What the report indicates is that whilst highly engaged employees may take regular short breaks during working hours, when they do get on with their jobs they are more focused, more productive and willing to work longer hours than those with low engagement.
Bill Alexander, CEO of Red Letter Days for Business said: “Employees who enjoy more flexibility on timekeeping at work as well as where they work are more engaged, work longer hours and are more productive. Highly engaged staff spend more time at work on personal tasks than staff with low engagement levels because they believe a break away from their work every now and then is a good thing.”
“All staff should be given more autonomy and be able to self-govern their job roles.”
The problem with applying these findings to your own workplace is the issue of engagement. There’s a fine line between allowing your employees autonomy and giving them the freedom to slack off, especially when it’s not immediately apparent who amongst your workforce is highly engaged or otherwise.
Employee engagement can be broken down into three broad categories: actively engaged, ambivalent, and actively disengaged. It’s important to have initiatives in place to measure this, such as staff surveys or regular one-to-one meetings.
Even if you are fortunate enough to have a completely engaged workforce, we still advise that you keep a computer and IT usage policy in place. Whilst you may choose to turn a blind eye to a top performer taking occasional breaks, you still need to defend yourself against serial slackers.