The Gallup 2013 Engagement Survey produced its usual morbid results. According to the survey, only 30% of employees are “actively engaged” (care about doing a great job every day). Another 52% are “not engaged” (otherwise known as “zombies”) and 12% are “actively disengaged” (purposely trying to work poorly, sabotage, cheat time, etc.). In many cases, managers bear the responsibility for these unengaged workers either because they hired the wrong people or failed to provide effective leadership. However, assuming that management did not cause the problem, what can you do to improve the situation?
- The Actively Engaged. Learn what makes them tick! Thank them and let them know you love them. Find out how you can hire them at twice the rate. Leverage their enthusiasm to motivate the Zombies.
- The Zombies – Give them something to be excited about, like a decent paycheck or a great company party. Then provide them with a sense of meaning in their daily work. Offer additional financial incentives. Manage and coach them actively so they have no choice but to perform. You can also go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site on how to manage Zombies (http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm).
- The Actively Disengaged: If they walked off the job would you be upset – or relieved? In the latter case, make sure you have checks and balances to get them off your bus now! Don’t hesitate to fire these people; the longer you keep them, the greater the risk they pose.
Finally, ask yourself what is motivating or demotivating about your company. Step back and become a keen observer of your own reality.