Employers have implemented a wide range of various schemes for compensation and benefits. They range from salary, bonuses and insurance as well as free newspapers, wifi, mobile phone, lunch and physical training. A lot of these are hygiene factors, not really contributing to motivation but important nevertheless.
Several employers work systematically with purpose, involvement and engagement in order to help the workforce commit to delivering on the bigger picture.
Even so, statistics show that a great deal of the employees aren’t engaged; actually, only 13 percent are truly engaged, 63 percent couldn’t care less and 24 percent are actively disengaged. They are not only not engaged, they are busy sabotaging whatever the employer is trying to achieve. Translated into the language of football, only 2 players are really trying to win, 6 players don’t care, and 3 players are helping the opposing team.
There are a number of methods out there trying to help employers deal with the low level of engagement. One key element is typically related to having a clear strategy that is understood by “everyone” and making it easy to see how my contribution actually impacts the goals of the company. Great leadership matters, too.
I am all for this approach (and others), but the question is if there are other things going on that explain why the engagement is low.
In a survey conducted by Oslo Met in March, 29 percent of Norwegian households said they were worried about their personal financial situation, up from 20 percent in July/August 2022.
We also know that 20 percent of sick absence is explained by financial stress. On top of this, in Norway 5-10 percent of all employees have some kind of garnishment put in place by the bailiff.
I don’t have hard evidence, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a large part of the lack of engagement is situational. It is simply not easy for people to be truly engaged in mission, vision, purpose, values and strategy if they are concerned, worried, stressed and preoccupied.
This brings me to our industry. Debt collection companies can call a customer 15 times a month. At Kredinor, more than 50 percent of our customers (those with financial challenges) have more than one debt collection agency contacting them. If a person has four different claims with four agencies, that person will most likely receive 60 calls a month. On top of this, we can add text messages, letters and communication through other channels. I think we can agree that this is a stressful situation. We can also add that it typically takes time to accumulate a problem like the one described above. So we can assume that the person in question has been living with this for a long time.
At Kredinor, we propose to deal with the problem and not just individual cases. It starts by giving the customer a total overview and defining an action plan. Secondly, we propose to prevent the problems from happening in the first place. This is possible by reaching out to customers much earlier than what we typically do today.
We also need to rethink what we, as employers, are offering to our employees. What are the real needs of our workforce? What is really helpful? What cures the root causes of many of the problems that we see?
Our solution for employers is to offer employees to talk to someone. Someone who is independent, competent and who can provide a financial health check with clear paths forward to improve the situation. We strongly believe this is a very relevant solution that deals with a number of key challenges that we as employers need to address: engagement, mental health, sick absence and risk.
As employers, we need to deal with not only E and G in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), we also need to think about the S.
Contact us, and we will find time to share our thoughts with you. I promise it will be relevant to your organization!