Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Who Do You REALLY Work With?


The Gallup Organization, the same people who do many of the polls we hear about right now during election season, polled 3 million workers and 80,000 managers about work issues. Some of their findings were disturbing.

The poll discovered that only 16% of workers are Engaged in their work. These people see themselves as professionals at work and are fully engaged in their tasks. One of the most frequently featured topics in training magazines is how to keep employees engaged.

The largest group, 67%, is Disengaged. Issues ranging from their work load, mood, or even the weather, may affect whether or not they are engaged in their work.

The final group, the Actively Disengaged, comprise 17% of the workforce. Many of them spend more time thinking about how to get out of their work than they do actually performing the work. Worse yet, they are talking about their slack behavior to their peers.

The Actively Disengaged are like a virus in the workplace. If you are a manager and can identify these people (and they are usually easy to spot) you should do everything you can to get rid of them. In the vast majority of cases you will not change them. Even if you could, they would rarely be better than a lower level Disengaged employee.

Understanding where you and the people around you fall on the 16/67/17 scale can help you make decisions about what to change or maintain in your workday.

Interestingly, the poll showed that when people join an organization they almost always start in the Engaged group. But over time, unless the organization is creative in finding methods to keep the person Engaged or the individual has a strong enough character to keep themselves Engaged, they will tend to track down to the Disengaged group and then possibly the Actively Disengaged.

The more Engaged people you have around you the more Perfect Workdays you will have.

Great Resources: Look for the books by Marcus Buckingham to describe the research and practical ways to stay vaccinated against the virus of the Actively Disengaged.

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