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The Virus of Employee Disengagement

No one takes a job intending to fail. No employer hires with the intent to fire. Both parties want only the best. So what happens? The virus of employee disengagement attacks and spreads.

Consider Quality of Life.

Do your people work to live or live to work? Many older managers believe younger workers have a poor work ethic. Younger workers say, "Get a life," and refuse to become entangled in an "unbalanced existence." Meanwhile, younger managers face difficulties with older workers who are unwilling to accept change.

In many organizations, I've observed that both sets of workers are quietly influencing each other. They recognize similarities and overlaps in their beliefs. Older workers often regret having paid excessive "dues" at the expense of family and happiness. They now want a fuller life. Younger workers want to control the work that shapes their lives.

They want flexibility. They have evolved hybrid values, beliefs and behaviors that revolve around quality-of-life issues.

A Kabachnick Group survey of 1,400 executives, managers and associates (of all ages) reveals some specific beliefs:

76% would switch jobs for less money in order to work for a company that offers personal development and flexibility.
58% believe that an outsider has a better chance of getting the job or promotion that they want.
81% believe the way to the top is strictly political.

Employee Development is the Key.

Today, self-development is the single largest contributor to job satisfaction. Employees will choose one employer over another when the
company provides more training and development.

The Container Store, voted by Fortune Magazine as one of the Top Ten employers for several consecutive years, is an employer of choice. This successful retailer provides training for every employee each year that is over five times the industry average -- and it shows in their service and bottom line. Contrast that with the 30 hours a year that is the average for the industry.

Sadly, many managers believe an employee's desire for training and career development is influenced by an ulterior motive. In other words, "Once you provide me with the adequate training, I'll take these skills to another (better) employer."

It's a valid concern. But ask yourself this question: How much will it cost if you choose not to develop your people? Or consider this fact based on an Accenture/Deloitte study: The typical U.S. Company spends almost 50 times more to recruit a $100,000 worker than it will invest in his annual training after he joins the company.

When you develop people to the highest standards, they will not want to leave. In most cases, leaving a company for a higher salary is merely an excuse. Actually, one of the top reasons people leave their jobs is directly tied to their relationship with their boss. TKG research shows that an employee's performance will move 30 percent positively or negatively, all based on the environment. The boss creates that environment.

Tip from, I Quit, But Forgot to Tell You: Attacking the Spreading Virus of Disengagement By Terri Kabachnick

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