Is it laziness?
Is it they don’t care?
Is it they only are there for the paycheck?
Is it that they don’t feel valued?
Is it they are not inspired?
I believe it can be all of the above.
Yet…if you believe as I do that most people want to do a good job, especially when first hired, what happens to get in the way and sabotage employee motivation and employee engagement. I mean, few emotionally healthy people start a new job with the intention of taking advantage of their new employer. Most people want to contribute at a high level and make a difference in their professional life.
So something must get occur in the work environment over time that gets in the way of an employee’s motivation or desire to be engaged in their work and contribute at high levels.
If we start with the belief that employees initially want to do a good job, then other environmental factors must be getting in the way. What might they be?
• A lack of appropriate resources being provided (slow computers, outdated software, old desks and chairs, fluorescent lighting in the environment, etc).
• Learned helplessness from offering ideas, solutions, etc. that seemed to be ignored and never responded to…
• No one ever even asked for their input or ideas about how to make their job more effective, easier, less stressful or more productive…
• Being consistently micro-managed, showing a lack of trust and confidence
What would (could) happen if company leaders invested time in giving employees a real outlet for expressing their ideas for business efficiencies and improvements?
Like with any investment business leaders must believe there will be a return on that investment.
Historically, business leaders who think they’ve tried to integrate business improvement suggestions from employees (e.g, the dreaded and worthless “Suggestion Box”) haven’t gotten quality input. And, often they don’t receive any level of quantity of input, either.
This leads to the mistaken impression that their people don’t care, or they only care for the paycheck and other fringe benefits.
This impression comes from focus group sessions facilitated by department or company leaders that do not have the facilitation skills nor the neutral relationship necessary to facilitate such sessions. Often times these sessions turn into a groan and moan session.
So many mis-perceptions build between employers and employees from these type of processes that low levels of trust, commitment and loyalty develop on both sides.
These mis-perceptions occur due to poor communication.
Poor communication in a very specific manner.
I believe it is in the way employers, business leaders, bosses (call them what you will) ask the question(s).
One of the 7 critical communication strategies of confident leaders is “Specificity.” This includes asking the right question, specific questions, in the right way.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Next week I’ll write more about ways questions should be posed to get better responses that provide a company leader with answers that will offer a high ROI on the effort, and build a team of highly motivated and engaged employees.
’til next time, make it a great week!