• [Translate to en:] Wenn der Chef mal lobt, dann zeigt sich der Boss-Ballon
Dienstag, 15. Januar 2013

Unmotivated, uninspired, uninvolved

These are the headlines of the so-called 2011 Commitment Index . Every fourth employee has mentally quit his or her job. Significant for employees not working-to-rule is not the salary or pressure, but emotion and involvement. Salary or pressure do not tip the scales in the employee’s decision to work extra hours or being more committed to work. Emotions and involvement do.

The current study, carried out by the Gallup consulting firm, has revealed that increasing pressure in the workplace or the call from managers for a necessary competition and crisis do not lead to more commitment and productivity but rather to the opposite. Mental resignation and a lack of interest, commitment and motivation are becoming more and more common at the work place. Almost every fourth employee is considered to already be in this state of mind, which is more than ever before. Managers in companies are to be blamed for this situation, says Marco Nink, a consultant at Gallup. “It is them who are responsible because their sense of leadership shapes the work environment.”Most of the employees apparently only work-to-rule, 63 percent only reel off the mandatory tasks. Only 14 percent feel they are so emotionally tied to their employer that they are able to identify themselves with the company’s goals and thus ready to get involved more than expected to meet these goals. However, seeing such a gloomy result, one needs to ask where commitment to sustainable development, to innovations and ongoing quality improvement can still be found. Where are the ideas that benefit the people and the environment? Not to mention the costs caused by such a lack of interest. Speaking of costs, it is not only the extra 3.5 days that uninvolved employees are off compared to their emotionally involved colleagues. In fact, the costs amount to EUR 10.5bn every year for the companies, and economically the lack of motivation  actually amounts to EUR 123bn. However, the macroeconomic and social damage resulting from undeveloped ideas which would be necessary to accomplish a change towards better products, better production and better climate and environment protection, probably represents ten times this twelve-digit amount. Thus, it remains unexplained why managers have apparently not yet managed to motivate the workforce, to use their emotional intelligence. It cannot be because of the economic situation since neither a worsening nor an improvement of it has been proved to have an impact on the emotional commitment over the past few years. “The causes for a relatively small number of highly committed employees in Germany are homemade and are due to shortcomings in management” says Nink. So, what is missing in German workplaces? According to a poll, carried out by Gallup, almost 96 percent of uncommitted employees complained about their work not being praised and appreciated, a lack of respect and dignity from their superiors and receiving only pure criticism instead of constructive feedback. 80% of the committed employees are respected and praised for their work. The picture is not prettier in regard to “human interest”. Almost all uncommitted employees  say that nobody in their company is interested in them as “person”, nobody encourages their personal development or considers their opinions and views important. No wonder that the exact opposite occurs among the committed employees. Though the study carried out this year only encompassed 1,323 randomly chosen workers who were interviewed on the telephone over 18 months from October to December 2011, the study that has been issued every year since 2001 can already be considered representative of German workers. Satisfaction does not automatically mean emotional commitment thus does not automatically mean motivation and innovation.  Nine out of ten employees are completely satisfied with their work and most of them with their salary as well. Good management that benefits the workforce is the missing link in German companies, especially when employees need to be motivated to sustainable growth that can, in the end, only be achieved by the employees’ commitment, in other words, when there is “life” in the company, so to speak. So how can the situation be improved? ”In every company, improvements can be made by implementing appropriate measures” says Marco Nink. “Companies must pay more attention to the sense of leadership of their managers. Employees as a factor of success are too often ignored.”

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