Although the numbers have gotten slightly better, Gallup reported in 2014 that less than one-third of American workers are engaged with their jobs.
Managers and executives showed the highest levels of engagement in 2014 at 38.4%. While manufacturing workers scored the lowest levels of engagement coming in at a paltry 23%.
Millennials (born 1980-1994) aka Generation Y are the least engaged group with 28.9% saying they’re happy with their jobs. Generation X (1965-1980) and Baby Boomers (1946-1964) are both at 32% engagement. Traditionalists, (1922-1945) are the happiest with engagement at 42.2%.
“Study the unusually successful people you know, and you will find them imbued with enthusiasm for their work which is contagious. Not only are they themselves excited about what they are doing, but they also get you excited.” — Paul W. Ivey
So how do we get employees motivated to be engaged in their jobs? A good starting point would be to ask them.
- What do you want to achieve in life?
- What do you want from your career?
- What do you want from your job?
- As your manager, what can I do regarding this job to move you closer to where you want to go quicker?
Leaders, managers, etc. find these to be difficult, awkward, and vulnerable conversations.
To ease the process, take a look at assessments that measure motivators and Emotional Quotient.
Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to take your online assessment.
This week’s guest post is from Favor Larson of TTI SI, my assessment company.
Emotional Quotient (EQ) and the Missing Link To Motivation by Favor Larson, Senior Business Services Consultant for TTI Success Insights
In some circles, motivation is considered the holy grail of business tools. How do you motivate your employees so they are charged up and ready to go?
There are workplaces that seem to practically hum with their own brand of subdued excitement. If you see them featured in print or on TV, it’s because of how innovative and profitable they are. A look around the office shows that people who work there seem to bring their whole self to work. Nearly every person seems to explode with energy. More colorful, more vibrant, more dynamic. Ask them what’s new, and they will exuberantly talk your ear off about what their company is doing. And when you learn what the company is up to, you may ask yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Pass the Lightning in a Bottle, Please!
What you’re witnessing is motivation in action. When what people do for a living taps into what they really care about, they are fully engaged. It’s tempting to consider motivation to be a mysterious force of nature, hard to find or control, but it’s not. Some people have always had it, and it has gotten easier to figure out why—and how your company can tap into it. “Connect willpower to the inner drive that comes from values. Values are the missing link for motivation.” Bill J. Bonnstetter.
People are motivated at work when they feel that what they do is connected to something important to them. Every person has a set of underlying values that guide and motivate them in life, even when they are unaware of it.
As the study of superior performance in the workplace has advanced in recent years, so has the science of emotional intelligence. It turns out that businesses with a high EQ factor are successful at collaboration and creativity, in part because of their employees’ access to their own inner motivation. Inner motivation is an emotional intelligence skill, and just like learning to ride a bike, it can be learned through knowledge and practice.
Training in values and in EQ can help individuals tap into the values they hold dear, and in the process, tap into the inner motivation they’ve been looking for.