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How to Prevent a Disengaged Workplace

Before you can reach disengaged workers, it is important to know what a disengaged employee actually is; or…the flip side, which is an employee who is engaged. Engagement is NOT job satisfaction.  Job satisfaction is…. well, job satisfaction.  It measures how satisfied a person is with their job.  Satisfied workers may or may not do a great job and may or may not go the extra mile.

An engaged employee is someone who has zeal for his or her job.  They believe in what they are doing and for whom and with whom they are working.  And when one of the variables change, the engaged worker will set about to make positive changes.  They will reinvent themselves in their job, either with a new company or by taking positive steps by which to continue engagement within their current job.  Or they will have open dialog about their loss of zeal.  But they will do something constructive!

Disengaged workers show up for work, albeit many times late and often have attendance problems.  Disengaged workers also have more frequent workplace accidents that lead to higher workers’ compensation claims and even more absences.  In other words, disengagement is costly because the disengaged worker is still on the payroll but is not making positive contributions.  If these workers are allowed to continue their behavior, many times this causes the great workers to become disillusioned.  What happens next?   More disengaged workers.

So…how do you hire and retain employees who are engaged in their work?  Use TopGrading principles and here are the 

Six Steps to TopGrading

  1. Know who your A players are.  They are your best employees!
  2. Recognize the A players and keep them engaged.
    •    Employee Recognition programs
    •    Pay for performance
    •    Soft-dollar rewards designed for each individual (i.e. does this person like   praise?   Does this person enjoy a “bonus” day off with family?   How about tickets to a movie?  Make the reward meaningful for each person.)
    •    Training and Development to enhance and maintain personal and professional zeal  (The Phoenix Seminar)
  3. Hire AND retain only “A” Managers.  “A” Managers are a must!
  4. Coach and develop your B players.  You can coach the B players into “A” performance in their current position or you can coach them into a position where their natural skills and abilities will allow them to be an A Player.
  5. Address C players immediately.  Give them a performance improvement plan that will allow them to be successful.  Because most people truly do want to be successful.
  6. If you have D and F players, see number 3 above.  “A” managers do not allow D and F performance.   Period!

Make sure you are actively involved in creating an environment where engaged employees can motivate themselves.

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Judy W Bell

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