Recently I was taking a tour of a potential client’s facilities. As I was walking along with the company president and the general manager, we passed by a particular employee and the president remarked ,“he is one of the least motivated employees we have”. The GM however made a very interesting comment… he said “ you should see him play softball in the evenings… he is highly motivated… he’s just not motivated here”. Sad but true, in many cases.
Why is that? Why do some (maybe many) employees perform at a level well below their ability at work? A large survey reported 75% of employees said they could be “significantly more effective”. Wow.
The complete answer to that question will take more room then this blog, but I believe there are two primary reasons and they are linked. I mentioned B.F. Skinner’s comments on self-interest in a previous blog as being one. The second is emotion, or in most cases the lack there-of. In many organizations there is a complete lack of emotion regarding performance. Good month, bad month…. who knows… who cares. “I get $60,000 a year regardless”.
I have had many opportunities to meet with groups of angry employees. They are upset about being treated this way or that way by the company. I relish those opportunities. You have probably heard this, but it applies to business as well. “The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference”. If your employees are mad at you… you are still in the game. If they are indifferent to you… you have a real challenge.
If your employees are not emotionally involved in the performance of your business, you are probably in the aforementioned 75%. What does it take to get employees emotionally involved? What are the financial implications to your organization of employees being engaged or not? We will cover those topics in my next posting.