From September, 2011

Improving Employee Satisfaction: First the Bad News

Improving Employee Satisfaction: First the Bad News.

I love statistics. In just a few words and numbers I often see meaningful data which I can use to write posts like this.  Statistics reveal that employee satisfaction is at an all time low. Statistics that corroborate this statement and also show the damaging effects that poor employee satisfaction can cause your organization include:

  • Only one in three employees is actively engaged at work. (Blessing White)
  • The lost productivity of actively disengaged employees costs the U.S. economy $370 Billion annually. (Gallup)
  • In February, June, and October of 2010, the number of employees voluntarily quitting surpassed the number fired or discharged. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 78% of engaged employees would recommend their company’s products or services against just 13% of the disengaged. (Gallup)
  • 86% of engaged employees say they very often feel happy at work against 11% of the disengaged. (Gallup)
  • Less than 50% of Chief Financial Officers appear to understand the return on their investments in human capital. (Accenture)
  • 75% of leaders have no engagement plan or strategy even though 90% say engagement impacts business success. (ACCOR

So let me sum up all of these statistics for you.  Employees aren’t having a good time at work, it’s costing their companies beaucoup bucks as a result, and despite this many leaders are doing little about it.

Here are a few more statistics for you.  In a poll of 1,800+ U.S. employees, only 14% felt their company’s leaders were ethical and honest and only 12% believed their employers genuinely listened to and cared about their employees. (Maritz Research)  Ouch!

The unemployment rate is the highest it has been in decades and yet in 2010 you had employees voluntarily jumping ship into the icy waters of unemployment rather than toil another day for captains they mistrusted and whom they felt took them for granted.

So what is the solution?  Well, the way I see it many organizations have hit rock bottom.  That’s the bad news.  The good news for them is that they can only go up.  In my next post I will discuss a few changes that employers can make to dramatically improve their employee morale, which will in turn lead to higher profits.

Ryder Cullison

Hire-Intelligence LLC

How to Determine if your Employees can be Outstanding

Recently I read a blog post titled “9 traits that make great employees outstanding!”  The nine traits according to the writer are as follows (for a detailed explanation of each check out the article):

  • A little bit “off”
  • Know when to reel it in
  • Ignore job descriptions
  • Eager to prove others wrong
  • Praise in public
  • Complain in private
  • Ask questions for others
  • Start work on time
  • Tinker

What you may notice about these nine traits even without the author’s descriptions is that not one concerns an employee’s work experience or skill set.  No where do you see posssession of a degree from an Ivy League college, or even a degree at all.  Exceptional computer skills or twenty years of work experience is not present either.  While a college education, deep computer skills and extensive experience are a plus, none of them make for an outstanding employee, a great employee or even a good employee.

The “outstanding” traits listed above are behavioral and can’t be determined by reading a candidate’s work history on their resume.  They have to be discovered during the interview process but even skilled interviewers can’t assess a candidate’s personality properly with a series of canned questions.  Or worse, with a series of random questions.

The best way to determine if your candidate is a bit “off”, if they have the selflessness to praise others or if they know when to “reel it in” is to evaluate them with a behavioral assessment.  Behavioral assessments not only provide a great snapshot of the candidate’s
personality, most provide questions for the hiring manager to ask during the interview.  These questions will help you determine if the Harvard graduate sitting across from you likes to air their grievances in public or whether they choose to vent in private.

Ryder Cullison