Companies create policies and offer management training to positively influence employee attitudes and employee willingness to stay at companies, rather than go. One reason: The 2012 average cost of a new hire was $5,100, says the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Regardless of such efforts, according to a Gallup 2013 report, a decline in employee engagement continues to be a reason employees leave one job for another.
Employee Engagement and Company Performance
In 2013, Gallup reported that about 30 percent of workers were engaged in their work, meaning the workers felt passion for their work or a connection with their employer. The remaining 70 percent reported being not engaged or actively disengaged, committing minimum energy to their work. This situation rules out the possibility these employees will demonstrate the commitment or employee engagement that can push a company forward to higher revenues, greater efficiency, lower costs or impressive investor returns.
Effect of Employee Attitude Problems on Co-Workers
The truly bad news for companies is that the Gallup numbers suggest that the disengagement of 70 percent of the workers might be a sign that some employees hate their jobs. This is troublesome because with that attitude comes acting out, which can affect not only their own productivity, but that of their co-workers. For these folks and, as a result, their co-workers, work becomes a source of major dissatisfaction.
Sources of Employee Attitude Issues
A number of factors affect employee attitudes, including a lack of support for personal development and a lack of praise for good on-the-job performance. For example, employees sometimes exhibit a poor attitude because they lack the resources they need to complete assigned tasks the right way and they fail to understand management expectations. In addition, a poor attitude can result if managers make no effort to consider employee opinions and if their co-workers fail to commit to quality work. Equally important is the employee’s belief that his job is not important, that management takes no interest in the employee as a person and that the employee is unable to apply his skill set each day.
Paths to Improved Employee Attitudes
There are some relatively easy fixes for unsatisfied workers. For example, Larry Mylar writes in the Forbes article “Why Are 70% of Employees Disengaged, and What Can You Do About It?” that recognition by peers of a job well done, opportunities for personal growth and the ability to form relationships with co-workers contribute to happy workers. Also important is an employee’s understanding of the importance of their contribution to a company’s performance and management’s acknowledgement of the criticality of their contribution. A company might also give employees an opportunity to assume challenging roles, enhancing their skills, which may lead to more valuable contributions.
- National Association of Colleges and Employers: Recruiting Benchmarks: Average Cost-Per-Hire Was $5,100 in 2011-12
- Gallup World: Worldwide, 13% of Employees Are Engaged at Work
- HR Council Canada: Keeping the Right People: Employee Engagement and Retention
- Gallup Business Journal: Turning Around Employee Turnover
- Forbes: Employee Engagement:The Wonder Drug for Customer Satisfaction
- Gallup: State of the American Workplace
- University of North Carolina Kenan Flagler Business School: Focusing on Employee Engagement: How to Measure It and Improve It
- Forbes: 'I'm Outta Here!' Why 2 Million Americans Quit Every Month (5 Steps to Turn the Epidemic Around)
- Forbes: Why Are 70 Percent of Employees Disengaged and What You Can Do About It?
- Photo Credit LittleBee80/iStock/Getty Images
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