From my experience in corporate America I could have guessed that a majority of people hate their jobs. Or at the very least, really don’t like what they do. However, nothing prepared me for the numbers that were presented in an article I saw on LinkedIn. The article can be found HERE.
Just a few of the quotes from the article that stand out to me.
Imagine a 10-person bicycle. This means that three people are pedaling, five are pretending to pedal, and two are jamming the brakes. That’s you, corporate America. Now scale that bike higher. 520 out of every 1000 employees don’t care. 180 are trying to sabotage the place. 300 are left doing their darnedest.
Three out of ten employees are actively trying to get the company moving forward. JUST THREE
In a world where every corporation is trying to achieve higher margins and more profit – I think they are looking in the wrong places. Companies will complete LEAN audits and try to get just enough employees for the work being preformed. No fluff. These audits are not cheap. Really all employers had to do was try to get the people they have to work harder and smarter. If you can find a way to get a majority of the people on the bike pedaling forward you have just increased productivity which in turn creates margin and profit. I realize that I just made that seem simplistic. It is not that easy. Still, it can be done without using fear tactics or some expensive outside LEAN specialist.
The article goes on to point out some rather simple ways to help employees become more engaged.
Abandon your sick-pay and vacation-pay policies.
If you can’t trust me when I say I have the flu, why are you letting me engage with customers, define budgets, and access internal documents?
This seems really simple. You are allowing these people to be the contact and the ones delivering products to people/organizations that pay your bills. Yet, you can’t trust them to not take too much time off. I don’t get it. Yes, people will abuse this system. I get that – fire them. Corporate America is really good at that.
Make your office live and breathe.
Employees spend a third of their lives at work. Make your office a place someone would actually want to spend time.
Brew good coffee. Have a nice place for your employees to get lunch. Heck, provide the employees lunch once or twice a week. More employees will eat in the break room and you might see some relationships form between people in the office that will be good for business. People who like each other will work better together.
Let employees write their own job descriptions.
The vast majority of employees performing well at their job are also miles below their potential and bored out of their minds. They’re doing repetitive work. You know what happens next? They leave.
A corporation should be less concerned about what title and grade everyone has and more concerned that the people they hire (as long as the company is making good hires but that is a topic for another day) are wanting to come to work everyday. If allowing an employee write their own job makes the employee happy then they should be able to do it. The corporation needs to make sure that the employee knows their specific role but as long as that job is covered what do you care if he decides he wants to help out in a different department when he has time and they could use the extra help?
Corporations are going to have to realize that employees are changing. The way they need to function and operate is different. Technology has given employees the ability to do things from places that they never could have 15 years ago. Companies are changing slower than society and this is one reason that I feel quality, efficiency, and reliability is down for many companies. Not to mention that “retention of excellent talent” isn’t even in most companies vocabulary.