Have I got a job for you! You will do what the boss tells you to, check with her before you do something on your own, and meet the numbers she tells you to meet or your fired. If you do all that, you will get to keep your job and get paid every two weeks.
Are you in?
Using the fear of losing your job and the reward of getting paid is how most businesses have been managing (controlling?) their employees for the last hundred years or so.
Depending on how badly you need the job, you put up with it. But for how long?
And what kind of work and life does that lead to?
A friend of mine had a “great” job at a big company. He was a team leader. He was earning good money. Even in this still struggling economy his job was “safe.”
And he couldn’t wait to leave.
The culture he was working in was destroying him. He felt like the company didn’t really care about him, his coworkers, his family, or even the idea of a life outside the office. It’s hard to put in your best effort for a company like that.
He was offered a job with the type of culture he was looking for and he took it. When he put in his two-week notice the company was upset. They didn’t want to lose him. They offered him a promotion and more money. They thought the old model of motivation still worked, they just had to push harder.
My friend took the other job. He’s super excited about the culture and is already happier, more engaged with his company, and ready to do his best work.
Gallup has done a lot of research on “employee engagement.” An engaged employee is someone who is emotionally and enthusiastically involved in the purpose of the company. He enjoys his work and looks for ways to create, innovate, and do more than is asked of him. It’s the kind of employee every business wants.
Bad news. Gallup’s numbers from 2015 show that only 35% of managers are engaged and only 30% of all employees are.
This old method of motivating employees leads to a bunch of disengaged, unhappy, ready to jump ship at a moments notice people.
Who wants to work in that type of environment? Nobody. It’s one of the reasons there is so much turnover in the workplace.
It also costs a company’s bottom line. Gallup estimates that employee disengagement costs American companies about $300 billion every year.
There is a better way.
The best organizations engage us by asking us to share in their purpose and share in the pleasure of:
- Creating individual and team goals
- Contributing something signifcant
- Making a difference
- Working with people who support and encourage us
- Working towards and achieving goals
- Celebrating achievements and being rewarded for them
- Helping us become an expert at what we do
Add in an understanding that your entire life is not the job and now you’ve got someone working with their heart and soul. Now you’ve got someone who will stick with you.
Questions for comments: How does your company engage its people? How could you improve that?