Disengagement and Global Warming !

Disengagement and Global Warming !
Hiring Smart Canada

“80% of the population is at some level disengaged in their work – This is simply wrong”

How did this happen? How did we get to a place where so many people are working in careers/jobs where they are frankly going through the motions most days? The work provides them with little fulfillment and lacks the motivators to inspire creativity and productivity. The most interesting thing that is going on around them is the office politics and gossip rings. The strongest motivator to keep them there is the pay cheque.

How can we build the community and society that we desire hoping for increased creativity and productivity from a workforce in which 80% are at some level disengaged from their work?

Global Warming Engagement Data per country

Source: Gallup

The reason why we are in this situation begins with the whole hiring process and the resources around us. We have built a system where all the resources are geared to helping people get jobs rather than selecting jobs in partnership with the employer. We have courses and books on how to write cover letters, we have books and courses on how to create resumes, we have books and courses on how to score in an interview. We have so much support for getting hired we do not even see it all. They are everywhere.

Look on any online job board such as Monster and Workopolis and you will see that the employers are advertising their job positions directly next to the link in on how write a resume to sell yourself to an employer. It’s all about the sales job – not the job fit.

It’s not the candidate’s fault that they take advantage of these tools. We encourage them. We tell candidates that if they have two typos in a cover letter we won’t interview them, so they fix their spelling to get in the door, or they simply cut and paste from their last cover letter (that was purchased from a cover letter writing service). This past week I challenged the notion that perhaps that spelling errors in a cover letters is a rather silly reason for us to not interview someone and members of the Human Resources Professionals of Ontario (HRPAO) shot me down (rather quickly) with all kinds of reasons why they will not interview someone with a spelling error in their cover letter.

Let’s be honest, our track record for selecting engaged employees as a society is rather poor. OK, we can look to others like France and say that they are worse then we are, but that does not solve the problem that we have created. Much like Global Warming, the solution is not something that will occur overnight, but we all have to all start to do our part. Changes occur when a small portion of the population starts the change and builds momentum. It will only take 11% of the companies out there focusing to hiring for fit and engagement to start the momentum needed to reverse the track we are on.

Here are things that you can do to save our workforce from the this creativity and productivity doom loop;

  1. Make it easy for candidates to recognize that you are a possible fit for them by delivering your brand promise and keeping it . If you claim that you treat your employees with respect, then that needs to be true. Saying those words will get you more candidates, but you won’t keep them if they were told that you were going to provide something you can’t deliver it consistently. Starbucks is a great example of a brand promise. They are what they are. If you like Starbucks and the brand/culture that it represents, then you will be an engaged worker at Starbucks. If you want to attract healthcare workers who are frustrated with large regional hospitals and want to do more one-on-one care, then encourage them to visit your recruitment centre at a website called www.WeLoveNursesWhoCare.com
  2. Select candidates for an interview based on attitudes and values rather than a resume. Using the HiringSmart system, capture online the candidate’s attitudes towards work situations, supervision and co-workers, rather then just where they worked and where they went to school.
  3. Understand their Cognitive Abilities. This is not an indicator of how smart they are, but rather of how they listen, process and communicate information with others. The most engaged employees are in groups where all the other employees share the same cognitive abilities. Disengagement starts with the inability to be heard and understood by others.
  4. Match candidates with managers who fit together. The number one reason people leave their jobs is the relationship with their direct supervisor or manager. Understand the manager and understand the candidate. Put the two together logically where you can. If you want to have employees who share their concerns and frustrations, then match them up with managers who will listen to them.
  5. Provide the Managers with a Coaching Report on the new candidates .The knowledge of the candidate that is gathered during the hiring process is rarely shared with the direct supervisor or manager. When a new employee comes into a department or an organization, create a coaching report that is reviewed by the new direct report and the recruiter outlining what the direct report needs to do to ensure we keep this new employee engaged and productive.

It will only take 11% of the companies in our society doing this to drag the others along and will create huge change in the number of people who are disengaged at work. The spin off benefits to society will be staggering. Take a stand now. Look at your own organization. How will you rank your people on the engagement scale? What are you asking them to be engaged in? What would be different if your people were more engaged? What would happen to the effectiveness of your organization to reach it’s strategic goals?

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