GDP Blog

Do You Have Any Day Prisoners Working For You?

Posted by John Powter

Apr 11, 2015 7:58:00 AM

Employee engagement can be defined as:  An "engaged employee" one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work, who takes positive action to further the organization's reputation and interests". Employee engagement is the core of business success. An engaged workforce means higher retention, increased customer satisfaction and high profitability. We've stated before about having a 50%  increase in employee productivity.

Here are the facts:

Do you have any Day Prisoners at your company or do you feel like one?  This term made me feel sick to my stomach.  A Day Prisoner feels, when they walk into your business the cell doors close behind them. They have lost their passion they once had, feel unsatisfied and perform below average.  A great article by Jack Zenger and Joesph Folkman shows how these "prisoners" compared to the rest of the organization.

  • Compared to the makeup of the overall organization, there were slightly fewer males (-3.7%) and more females (+2.4%).
  • There were also fewer high school graduates (-5.9%) and more graduate (+2.5%) and post graduate degrees (+2.2%).
  • Thirty percent had been at the company from five to 10 years; 36% had been there between 10 to 20 years. The age sample spanned all levels and positions in the organization including Executives. We found "day prison" people in all tenure categories. In fact, we found three executives who were in day prison along with their staffs.

Here is what they said in order of importance.

  1. Lack of pride and satisfaction with the organization. 
  2. Minimal appreciation or recognition. 
  3. Absence of challenge and meaning in work. 
  4. Unwillingness to go beyond basic requirements.
  5. Conclusion that they were not treated fairly. 
  6. Feeling of powerlessness. 
  7. The company failed to value and practice values such as teamwork, trust and fostering diversity. 
  8. Minimal opportunities for growth and development opportunities. 

So how do you take a prisoner and turn them into a champion? It starts with identifying the problems in your culture and starting with a clean slate. What if you were able to find out what that employee wanted? Maybe it is not about compensation but about the quality of life. Currently the average American works a 47 hour work week, while salaried employees work an average of 49 hours.

  • 18%   Working 60+ Hours
  • 21%   50-59 Hours
  • 11%   41-49 Hours 

That means 50% of our entire workforce is working over 40 hours a week. That includes hourly employees, salary is 59%.  What if that employees would be re-engaged if they were able to tuck their kids in at night or attend the grade school play. Finding out the "Why" in employees and feeding those answers of why they took the job in the first place will change a prisoner into a champion. It is time to rethink HR and performance management. If only 13% of the workers are engaged we need to do something different.  How do the great companies have employee lining up to work there?niko-niko_calendar

Financial institutions are having a hard time recruiting because they aren't the cool place to work. Companies are re imaging, drug companies are not health and wellness companies. What if we tracked employee satisfaction like we do customer satisfaction. Look at how Toyota tracks their employees with a Niko Niko Calendar. This is a calendar that is formatted to allow each team member to record at the end of every work day a graphic evalutaion of their mood during the day. Engaged employees equate to higher growth, direction and profits. That is what GDP stands for we help our customers with each item. If you need help with employee engagement, please contact one of your GDP Advisors today.



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Topics: Leadership

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