Disengaged Employees and the Reputation They Manifest

Leave a group of employees alone and one of two outcomes will occur.  Groups will either continue to abide by the guidelines set before them, or they will act out as if they have no responsibilities to perform.  How do you feel your employees would act in a situation such as this?

Over the past few weeks I have been paying close attention to employees (throughout various industries) seemingly without direct management supervision.  While some would fall into the “ideal employee” category, most appeared disengaged, inattentive and presented a poor representation for the business they embodied.

For example, while standing in line for a to go order, I saw five employees behind the food preparation station laughing at a video they were viewing on a cellular phone… not to mention, the other three groups waiting to have their order taken saw them as well.  Eventually, one of the employees noticed the line growing and stepped over to assist while the others looked up and then continued watching.

In another instance, I stood at the checkout lane for roughly five minutes at a local convenience store while three employees stocking the shelves around me continued on with their tasks, ignoring my desire to pay for the items I had collected.

Unfortunately, these circumstances are not rare; when employees do not feel a sense of value on the job, there is an overall lack of will to please customers.  While larger organizations do not feel the effects of poor customer service immediately, small private practices in the healthcare field can instantly build an insufficient reputation when staff members are not at their best.

So what does it mean for an employee to feel “engaged in their job”?  According to the recent edition of the Society for Human Resource Management, “Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey” some of the items most important to employees are:

  • Job Security
  • Opportunities to use skills and abilities
  • Relationship with immediate supervisor
  • Benefits
  • Management’s recognition of employee performance

How prevalent are these aspects in your organization?  Are you providing employees with the ability to grow within their job and pay range, do managers treat employees with the necessary respect?  Also, keep in mind the benefits or “perks” your organization provides; are they enough to make staff feel looked after?  Most importantly, remember to tell employees how important they are, let them know you appreciate them and give feedback to ensure they feel satisfied in their work and their longevity with your organization.

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