We all know workers that are extremely disengaged and demoralized; workers who spend half their time chatting on Facebook, sending job applications and gossiping about last night’s soap opera. Probably you are one of them or have employed some. These are employees whose mood only improves as evening draws near and won’t hesitate to call in sick at the slightest of headaches. Employees who hate job targets or any measures put in place to measure efficacy, yet are most eager to receive their pay cheque at the end of the month. Yes we know quite a few of such. Actually we probably know very many.
A recent Gallup study carried out in America shows that 70% of all employees are unhappy with their jobs and not even handsome perks, incentives or positive messages will boost their morale.
This may seem commonplace or even okay to you until you evaluate the loss that employers incur for having a poorly performing workforce. In the US, the study found that employers incurred a whopping $550 billion in lost productivity! Even more worryingly, it was found that perpetually disengaged staff usually “roam the halls spreading discontent!”.
Many “creative” employers have used a number of methods in a bid to motivate their staff. Such methods include handsome incentives, training workshops and haughty motivational speeches but as the research showed “the perks come out as less important as job satisfaction”. Actually, even a pay rise is not enough and a disengaged employee is, in the long run, just that, DISENGAGED!.
The million dollar question here, therefore, is: Why are so many employees so disengaged that not even a salary hike will help?
There may be a myriad of reasons like poor working conditions, bad leadership, poor remuneration but key among the reasons is that many employees are in the wrong careers. Jobs they ‘found’ themselves in, due to circumstances rather than jobs they loved and chose. Jobs they only do for money but never for satisfaction. Nothing short of a miracle will motivate such employees.
So whose fault is it that we find ourselves (whether we are employees or employers) in this worrying state of affairs?
Demotivated employees are unproductive spend lots of time engaging on social media at the expense of their official job.
Every responsible employee has a duty to deliver valuable service to commensurate with the salary they earn. Actually good employees go way beyond their job description and do more than they are paid to. But good employees, as the study showed, are hard to find – harder to hire and harder to retain.
It is, therefore, easy to apportion blame to employees for not faithfully honouring their employment contracts. But many are caught up in a web of circumstances, like societal preferences and pressures that favour certain jobs over others. This means, or at least creates the impression, that certain jobs are preferable and better paying. Students, usually prodded by naive parents, guardians and teachers select these “white collar” career paths only to end up in mundane, boring jobs they hardly ever enjoy.
The employer on his/her part has a role to ensure that his staff are adequately motivated. The big mistake however, is usually not in the motivation, but in hiring. For it is within the hiring process that employers have a real chance of detecting potential employees seeking to join the wrong career and thus impossible to motivate. Employing such individuals is courting trouble and is, literally, akin to recording long-term losses.
The solution to these problems is having students and employees understand and align their careers, their true north, and employers being savvy enough to detect and only employ staff who are perfectly aligned with the jobs they seek. Usually, this is a nearly impossible task for students, job seekers and employers.
However, DYC (Discover Your Career) has come up with a simple test that will achieve all of the above mentioned for just 1000 shillings. For all the trouble, stress and anguish of studying for the wrong career and then living the rest of your life in a dull, humdrum career; for all the cost and loss of having unmotivated, ‘zombie-like’ employees; there is a lasting solution at the meagre cost of KSh 1000!