Getting employees to do more than the minimum

by on February 13, 2013 · 1 Comment POSTED IN: HR Cafe
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If the statistics on employee engagement haven’t spooked you into caring yet, they should.

Here’s why: Disengaged employees put out only one-third as much effort as highly engaged employees.

What makes this statistic even more sobering is that only 30% of employees are said to be highly engaged and willing to give real “discretionary effort” – that is, effort beyond the minimum amount necessary to keep their job.

Can’t squeeze ‘em
So how can you squeeze more than the minimum out of employees? Sorry, that’s a trick question; you can’t.

Employees must choose to work harder; that’s why it’s called discretionary effort. But as a manager, you can motivate employees to give that extra effort. Here are three things you can do:

  • Give your best people more to do. Not more of the same-old-same-old, but more new stuff. Probably some of your best employees are looking to broaden their skill sets or use skills that have been underutilized. Giving deserving employees a chance to stretch themselves at work can help unearth some of that discretionary effort.
  • Be specific in your praise. Managers who are able to point out precisely what makes employees valuable will find that those people are far more engaged than workers who hear only “good job.”
  • Show them the bigger picture. Employees like to know that their efforts play an important role in an organization’s success. They like to know that the work they do has meaning. If you can connect the dots for your employees so they see how each of their tasks plays in to the larger goals of the organization, they’re more likely to put more effort into their duties.

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  • Heather Kinzie

    Excellent post…this isn’t rocket science yet so many of our leaders fail to follow it…and honestly, so many of our employees fail to rise to the occasion when offered or encouraged. :-( Thanks for the read…

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