South-Western - Management  
Otherwise Engaged: Get Blase Employees Motivated About Their Jobs
Topic Motivation
Key Words Motivation, disengaged employees, productivity
InfoTrac Reference A113803890
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News Story 

An "I don't care" attitude is ravaging businesses from the assembly line to the retail floor. Gallop Organization research estimates that 70% of employees are disengaged, or no longer committed to the company. Employee disengagement is widespread at a time when companies are trying to increase productivity and brand themselves. Layoffs have contributed to the problem, but often organizations don't give employees reasons to care. One consultant reports that a ratio of four engaged employees to one disengaged employee is where a company starts to see gains in productivity. Managers need to know which employees are disengaged. Employees should understand where they fit in a company. There needs to be a purpose greater than themselves that they're working toward. Keeping people engaged and motivated is crucial, and can be done in many ways:

  • Offer feedback every day instead of once a year at a performance review.
  • Ask employees what they think is expected of them.
  • Think about your own work experiences, and what kept you enthusiastic.
  • Discover and develop employees' talents, instead of trying to fix their weaknesses.
  • Fire managers who don't do these things.
  • Review employee performance quarterly, focus on future performance instead of past.

By re-engaging employees, companies will reap rewards in lower turnover, higher productivity, and higher customer satisfaction.

Questions
1.

What's the connection between engagement in the job and productivity?

2.

What can managers do to get their employees more engaged?

3.

Have you had a job in which you were not fully engaged? How effective were you in that position? What could your manager have done to increase your enthusiasm for the position?

Source "Otherwise Engaged: Get Blase Employees Motivated About Their Jobs," Entrepreneur, March, 2004, p. 64.
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