Paul Herr, author of Primal Management, was a guest on my radio show last week. We spoke about his book, his Horsepower Survey, the science of employee engagement and the current state of affairs in creating engaged employees.
In his brochure for his Horsepower Survey, he writes that a recent Gallup poll found only 29% of employees care about their work. The other 71% just go through the motions.
I asked him: What are the three most popular ways companies inspire only 29% of their employees to care about their work?
You mean how do companies screw up about motivating their employees? We can’t blame companies for this – it is just the complexities of modern civilization and emotions of motivation.
There are some specific things that companies do that stop or harm the motivational engine:
1. One would be having a hyper-rational stand offish attitude towards employees and looking at them as objects – not having true and authentic relationships with your workforce. That is the key problem.
2. Another one is lack of praise. There is an extreme lack of attaboys out there.
3. This whole hierarchical command structure doesn’t work well with human nature. All the glory goes to the people at the top and everyone else is left out.In summary,
1). remember you’re the boss and they’re not. Make sure they understand that in every action you do. Make sure they look at the org chart regularly to see you prominently listed ABOVE them.
2). Don’t praise. In fact, don’t allow eye contact from those who labor to make you look good, earn your bonus.3). Keep all the glory for yourself. You’re higher on the org chart, right?
But...if you want to insure the inverse, that 71% of your employees care here are some tips:
1). Remember they’re your boss. Your role is to serve. You do that by providing clear direction, removing obstacles, providing tools and resources, embracing their ideas as their ideas arise from their experience and desire to succeed. ( Implied in that is that you, we, stop using the term 'employee'. I don't have an effective replacement. I'm working on it, though.)
2). Praise early, often and late. If you can’t find reasons to do that, then revisit the previous tip.3) Give the glory away to those who deserve it. By insuring they achieve it, deserve it, you prove your worth as a leader.
Oh. And if you’re still not motivated to make these changes then consider the cost. It’s estimated it costs our economy $1.3 trillion when 29% of us care about our work. Does it make you squeamish to think what it costs your company?
You can read more highlights from our conversation here.
You can listen in streaming on demand at this link to our full conversation.
PS: You should.