UPfront: The big job turnoff

According to researcher Gallup Organisation, quarter of million Kiwis report to work but don’t switch on to their jobs. And these “actively disengaged” employees cost the New Zealand economy around $6.2 billion year.

The survey, released at the end of last year, suggests 13 percent of the New Zealand workforce, is physically present but psychologically absent from their workplace. They are the disenchanted and disaffected, who are often vocal in showing their negative attitudes to their work and employer and invariably insist on sharing their unhappiness with their colleagues.

Only 19 percent of this group would recommend their companies’ products and services, and only three percent would recommend their company as great place to work. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that 27 percent of them still plan on being with their current employer year from now.

The solution to the problem rests with managers, according to the survey.

The best managers create engaged employees. ‘Engaged’ employees are psychologically committed to the employer organisation. They are loyal, productive workers who find their work satisfying and perform at consistently high levels. They work with passion, drive, and innovation and have an emotional connection to their company.

Of engaged employees 85 percent would recommend their companies products and services, and 69 percent would recommend their company as great place to work. In contrast to the disengaged group 86 percent of them plan on staying for at least year.

Additional Gallup research with over 200,000 of the world’s best managers found that they increase the engagement levels of their employees through:
* Selecting for talent rather than skills or experience
* Defining the right outcomes rather than the right steps
* Building on each person’s unique strengths rather than trying to fix weaknesses
* Finding the right fit for each person, not the next rung on the ladder.

The New Zealand Engagement Study was conducted between September 19 and October 7 last year using sample of 500 working New Zealanders, aged 18 years and older. The maximum sampling error for this study is ± 4.4 percent.

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