Majority of Employees Not Satisfied With Their Jobs – Forbes

1428651_18804755 via Forbes

Only 19% of workers said they were “satisfied” with their jobs.

Right Management, a subsidiary of the giant staffing firm ManpowerGroup, just released a new snapshot survey that underlines the dissatisfaction among American workers. At a time of high unemployment, lackluster job growth and major uncertainty in world financial markets, many employees feel stuck in their jobs, unable to consider a career move even if they’re unhappy.

Right Management ran the online survey between April 16 and May 15, and culled responses from 411 workers in the U.S. and Canada. Only 19% said they were satisfied with their jobs. Another 16% said they were “somewhat satisfied.” But the rest, nearly two-thirds of respondents, said they were not happy at work. Twenty-one percent said they were “somewhat satisfied” and 44% said they were “unsatisfied.”

Staffing firms and consultants release employee engagement and loyalty surveys periodically. The news on this front has not been good for some time. In November, I reported on a more in-depth study, a Mercer survey of 30,000 workers worldwide, which showed that between 28% and 56% of employees in 17 spots around the globe wanted to leave their jobs. In the U.S., 32% said they wanted to find new work. That’s about half of the 65% of respondents to the Right Management survey, who said they were either somewhat or totally unsatisfied.

Continued via New Survey: Majority of Employees Dissatisfied – Forbes.

Greg Smith | Lead Navigator | 770-860-9464 | Chart Your Course International |

Posted in Employee Engagement, Employee Retention, Employee Turnover, Generations at Work, Good Places to Work, Human Resource Management, Job Satisfaction | Leave a comment

Reward and Recognition Ideas to Build a Motivated Workforce

BUL2036Have you ever had a bad hair day? How about a bad Hawaiian shirt day, bad hat or bad shoe day? More and more companies are putting together contests on the ugliest dressed. Another company sponsors an annual “turkey bowl” contest. Employees pick an open space, take a frozen turkey, and try to knock down as many empty wine bottles as possible. This is not evidence of companies’ gone nuts, but tactics used to ward off a serious business problem.

The biggest problem facing business today is motivating and engaging the workforce. The other problem starting to pop up is employee turnover. Today’s mobile employees are loyal only to themselves, and jump ship for better benefits, higher pay, and greater opportunity.

Pay and benefits are important, but you have to do something different in order to attract and retain the best people. That something may equate to a fun, flexible workplace that gives them more freedom and responsibility. Wouldn’t it be great if you enjoyed going to work? What if your supervisors showed appreciation for what you did?

Here are a few examples of team building techniques that motivate employees:

Humor Corner
Give employees one corner of a break room or other area to post cartoons, illustrations, and other items designed to relieve stress. At the end of each week, the staff can award a prize for the best submission.

The Talking Stick
Try introducing the “talking stick” into your office. This idea originated from a Native American tradition. Each month a different person in the office receives the talking stick, which provides that person certain rights and privileges for the month. For example, the “owner” could provide fellow employees one hour a month administrative leave.

Employee Dollars
At Phoenix Solutions Inc. employees award an “employee dollar” to fellow employees who do something special or exceed company expectations. Each month the employee with the most dollars gets movie tickets, dinner, and a plaque with their name as Employee of the Month.

Management by Fooling Around
Herb Kelleher, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines, combined fun and hard work into something he calls “management by fooling around.” At the nonconformist airline, everything?from the tickets and boarding passes to the casual dress and occasional costumes attendants wear? clearly demonstrates that something is different.

A Milwaukee office manager doesn’t just give out paychecks on payday…employees also receive a “Payday” candy bar with their check.

Man (Person) Overboard Award
CIGNA believes in rewarding employees who go above and beyond for their customers. The Man Overboard Award is a life-saving ring, which the president presents to an employee at a special ceremony. CIGNA also pays teams for implementing ideas that improve productivity with awards as high as $25,000.

Choose Your Own Reward
A Miami-based business owner rewards her employees with parties, expensive dinners, chauffeured shopping sprees, spa sessions, and cooking lessons with Chef Paul Prodhomme. She lets her employees decide what they want, then figures out how much their package costs and also how much additional business they have to generate to cover those costs.

Engineering Bucks
The technicians at Weather Channel in Atlanta created their own recognition system called Tech Bucks. All they did was Xerox a dollar bill and give five of them out at the beginning of each month. They give them to each other for doing a good job. At the end of the month they tally up who got the most and the winner gets a special prize.

Dancing the Macarena
Employees at PeopleSoft, Inc. have not forgotten the day that former CEO David Duffield danced the Macarena in front of 500 happy coworkers. Duffield does not act like a boss. His office is a cubicle, he answers his own phone and opens his own mail. Annual employee turnover is three percent or one quarter of the national average. Employees who earn outstanding service awards get either $500 in cash or stock options.

The Extra Mile
United Services Automobile Association (USAA) provides blank Thank You note stationary to their workers for a program called The Extra Mile. Employees are encouraged to say “Thank You” to each other for the help they receive at work. The most surprising thing happened on the first day USAA printed the notes. . . They ran out! The company couldn’t keep up with the demand.

Fat Friday
Everyone enjoys eating. At Texas A&M the first Friday of each month is celebration time. Everyone brings food to share, and they celebrate birthdays for that month as well as work anniversaries. Surprise Celebrations Often it is the unexpected and informal that employees enjoy as much as formal awards. Conduct frequent, unannounced recognition and award celebrations, such as having a pizza party. If you don?t know of a reason to have a get-together for the work force, invent one.

Gold Stars and Frogs
At Wachovia Bank, each Monday morning they set milestones for the week with input from staff members. On Friday, employees receive a Gold Star and $2.00 (funny money) for each milestone met. Employees can also recognize their peers with a sticker of a frog, which is worth $1.00. Staff members display the gold stars and frogs on a white cardboard poster. At the end of each month, they hold a random drawing for a dinner ($50.00) and movies ($25.00).

Having Fun
Hal Rosenbluth, CEO of Rosenbluth International (the nation’s fourth-largest travel services company) believes in creating a fun work environment. He starts by hiring nice people since he believes nice people like to work together and they like to have fun. Officers dedicate every Tuesday afternoon to serving high tea and discussing corporate values and other matters of importance to new recruits at the company’s Philadelphia headquarters. There’s a toll-free 800 number for any associate to contact Rosenbluth.

Faux Paus Award
Sometimes it’s fun to recognize an employee’s goof. Try the “Faux Paus Award,” a plaque or trophy passed around the organization at a monthly social event with the current recipient?s name engraved. The ?keeper? of the award is responsible for selecting the next deserving recipient.

After Dinner Phone Call
Even though you took time during the work day to thank the employee who went above and beyond. They go a step further and call them at home after dinner to say thanks. You might be surprised how much this can mean.

Breakfast with the President
The Human Resources Department of Nations Healthcare, Inc. initiated a “Breakfast with the President” program to improve communications between employees and the CEO. Each breakfast begins at approximately 8:15 a.m., with coffee and biscuits served by the staff, and ends when the discussion ends. Results: higher morale and a sense of open communication.

More team building techniques and reward and recognition ideas

Greg Smith | Lead Navigator | 770-860-9464 | Chart Your Course International |

Posted in Employee appreciation, Employee Engagement, Employee Retention, reward and recognition, Talent Management | Leave a comment

Hiring the Wrong Employee is the Mistake That Keeps On Giving | Workforce Trends Creating The Perfect Labor Storm

Cost of Employee Turnover and a Bad Hire

By admin on Apr 8, 2012 in Employee Turnover, Human resources, Recruitment, workforce trends

Hiring the wrong employee is an expensive mistake.

For example, let’s say a professional services firm recruits and hires a new customer service representative (CSR).  After 2 months, the manager realizes he made a bad decision.  The employee is terminated.

This is the example used in a recent report by McLean & Company. They placed the cost of hiring the wrong employee at about $12,000. Here’s how they derived the estimate. The analysis McLean & Company used is not very different from the multitude of other articles and forms available with a simple Google search. But it’s a good reminder about the high cost of hiring poor performers, especially since hiring trends are up and many hiring managers are unprepared.

Recruiting Costs
Advertising  (2 online job boards, 1 alumni job board)
$ 1,950

Recruiters  (20 hours spend x $25 hourly rate)
$   500

Administrator  (7 hours spend x $20 hourly rate)
$   140

Candidate travel costs (airfare, hotel, etc.)
$       0

Interviews  (interviewer’s time spent)
$   246

Background checks
$   100

$   100

$ 3,036

Salary and Benefits
Monthly salary x # of months employed (2 months @ $3,350)
$ 6,700

Estimated benefits (35% salary)
$       0

Signing bonus
$       0

$ 6,700

Other Significant Costs
Training and orientation (trainer, manager & and other employees’ time spent)
$ 1,224

Training materials
$      50

Relocation costs
$        0

Set-up costs (computer, phone, etc.)
$    960

Litigation costs (if applicable)
$        0

$        0

$ 2,234


Total Cost of a Bad Hire

$      3,036

+ Salary & Benefits
$      6,700

+ Other costs
$      2,234

$ 11,970

You should notice that these costs might just be the tip of the iceberg and rise when candidate travel costs, relocation costs, signing bonuses, litigation costs, and benefits are incurred.

Hiring the wrong employee is also the mistake that keeps on giving.

After this CSR (or any other employee) is let go, the organization has to start recruiting all over again.  The cost to replace this employee just keeps mounting even after he or she is gone. In addition to the recruiting costs ($3,000), there are a number of soft and opportunity costs that add up.

Manager’s time spent dealing with HR about the under-performing employee, discussions with the employee, and documenting his or her performance.

HR’s time spend coaching and advising the manager about performance management and legal implications of termination.

Lost productivity due to missed deadlines, unfinished projects, and missed sales.

Disjointed customer service. Customer fulfillment, engagement, and service is disrupted or less than desirable when management and HR’s energy is redirected toward poor performing employees instead of top performers and customers.

Damage to reputation. The terminated employee will almost certainly spin a different story than the one told by the employer. And word of mouth travels fast, especially if the employee is active on social network sites.

via Hiring the Wrong Employee is the Mistake That Keeps On Giving | Workforce Trends Creating The Perfect Labor Storm.

Greg Smith | Lead Navigator | 770-860-9464 | Chart Your Course International |

Posted in Behavior Assessments, Employee Selection, Human Resource Management | Leave a comment

Effective Leadership Needed During Times of Change

Businesses and business leaders must be one step ahead of change. Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, you need to be an agent of change.

Unfortunately, many organizations suffer from a lack of leadership. Leadership is both an art and a science. A leader gets others to achieve goals by providing purpose, direction and motivation. The ultimate goal is to lead others to a destination they would not go by themselves.

Rapid changes in technology, an uncertain economy, intense competition, strict regulatory requirements and an increasingly diverse workforce are challenges forcing organizations to adapt quickly to new circumstances. A manager tends to maintain the status quo; whereas, a leader creates and manages change. Unfortunately, many people who were successful in the past do not possess the skills and competencies needed for success today.

These varied factors require strong leadership skills—the ability to lead, not just manage. Famed management consultant and late author Peter Drucker put it bluntly by saying, “Every organization has to prepare for the abandonment of everything it does.” Only through innovation will a company survive in today’s rapidly changing environment. Change in the business world was at one time orderly and incremental. In a routine or a traditional environment, managers do well; however, change is much more dramatic today. Today’s business world demands a leader willing to facilitate change and encourage innovation within his or her company in order to be successful.

How Leaders Make Change Happen

Retired General William Livsey said, “You can assign a person to a leadership position, but no one will ever really be a leader until his appointment is ratified in the hearts and minds of his soldiers.” Leadership is earned. It is not based on titles, position or rank. The business that neglects its people and treats them solely as expendable resources stands to incur the greatest loss.

Your behavior, actions and personal involvement are critical in leading others to change and become more adaptive and innovative. This role cannot be delegated to someone else. Here are some specific actions to consider:

• Read leadership books. Talk about your interest, new awareness and commitment to new ideas to conduct your business.

• Ensure that you make yourself visible in all training courses/programs supporting this new direction. Consider becoming an instructor or teaching a class to the people in your company.

• Encourage the management team to do the same — become role models.

• Avoid sending mixed signals. Evaluate your actions and priorities to insure those actions support the new vision.

• Eliminate barriers and bureaucratic procedures that block the way of progress.

• Get personally involved with improvement projects, teams and task forces.

• Spend time with customers and suppliers, as well as with employees and staff discussing these issues. Make these sessions informal, open and friendly.

• Keep an open mind to new ideas and better ways to do business. Be willing to take a few risks just to get more people engaged and involved.



Keep us in mind if you need a speaker, trainer or facilitator for an upcoming meeting or conference. In addition to Greg, we have several highly capable individuals to provide a wide range of services. Visit our website for a list of Greg’s dynamic keynotes and workshops. Contact Cathy for additional information.

Free Team Building Exercises

Here are a couple of my favorite team building activities and meeting icebreakers you can use to energize your meetings.

Greg Smith | Lead Navigator | 770-860-9464 | Chart Your Course International |

Posted in Employee Engagement, Good Places to Work, Leadership, Leadership Speaker, Talent Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Assessments to Hire, Build Teams and Develop High Performing People

Complimentary webseminar:

Have you ever made a wrong hiring or promotion decision? Do you have people who have difficulty communicating with others? This webseminar explains how to integrate DISC and other online assessment tools into training, selection, communication and professional development applications. People are unique and have different temperaments and personalities. These differences have a direct impact on how we behave with each other, communicate and perform. Interviewing and resumes are becoming less reliable. Assessments provide you an unemotional evaluation of an individual’s behavior, attitudes, values and talent – qualities difficult to judge in an interview alone.

Webseminar agenda:

• Learn how to avoid a bad hiring decision which can cost 2-3 times the person’s annual salary.

• Learn the skills, processes and the knowledge you need to identify and hire top performers each and every time — those that will perform in the top 20%.

• Give feedback to people in a style they can understand and accept for improving performance and accelerating professional development.

• Reduce stress, conflict and improve communication between individuals and departments.

• Learn how to identify the emotional intelligence, strengths and abilities of individuals and know which jobs people are best suited.

• Predict an applicant’s success on the job before hiring or promoting them.

• Effectively measure and improve an individual’s leadership competencies.

Limited seating–first 100 people

Wednesday, June 6

3:00-4:00 p.m. ET

via Managing Personality Conflicts and Negative Attitudes in the Workplace.

Posted in Behavior Assessments, DISC Training | Tagged | Leave a comment

Zip, Zap, Zowie! Employee Motivation Techniques that Improve Performance

Here is a recent video clip of a speech I gave on employee motivation.

Greg Smith | Lead Navigator | 770-860-9464 | Chart Your Course International |

Posted in Employee appreciation, Employee Engagement, Job Satisfaction, Leadership Speaker | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Job Engagement: How to Improve Work Performance

Job Engagement

Employers face the complex tasks on finding ways to improve job engagement, work performance and job satisfaction.  A global economy of discriminating employees has placed demands on employers never before seen.  Employers face the challenges of maintaining productivity, job performance as well as keeping their workforce engaged and satisfied with their jobs.

Environmental pressures, increased regulations, rising costs, and the needs of the workforce have placed management in a complicated and tenuous situation.  The answer lies with creating a work environment that maintains employee job satisfaction as well as motivates people toward exceptional performance.

A  survey conducted by the Conference Board showed only 45 percent of Americans are engaged with their jobs. This is the lowest job engagement level ever recorded by the Conference Board in more than 22 years of research.

Those that fail to improve job satisfaction are at risk of losing their top talented people to the competition.  Supervisors and managers who maximize the potential, creative abilities, and talents of the entire workforce have a greater competitive advantage than those who don’t.  Employees that are engaged in their work have a higher level of job satisfaction and motivation.  Engaged and motivated workers provide the health insurance businesses desperately needed in these chaotic times.

Here are a few job engagement techniques that can boost job performance.

Team Assist Boards:  Best Buy Company, Inc. has boards, which are located in multiple areas within a department.  Peers or managers recognize the excellence of others by writing a quick message of thanks, and then post it on the board.

Tool for New Employees:  Northeastern University has many divisions, each containing several departments.  The division decided to develop a tool to assist the new employees.  It is an orientation/training manual, and the entire company helps direct them where to go, who to speak to, and what they need to begin working on.

Staff Excellence Award:  Northeastern University has developed a staff excellence awards.  These are done monthly and the winners are nominated by those in their department.  They receive a gift certificate and plaque.

Perfect Attendance Recognition:  Graybar has weekly or monthly drawings for perfect attendance.  This is for those who have had no tardiness, etc. for the previous weeks.  They give one gift certificate per week.

On the Spot Award:  NexCom uses the “On the Spot Award.”  Any supervisor who finds an employee doing the right thing gives it.  They give that employee a gift certificate, minimum $25, maximum $100.

Breakfast Burrito Reward:  Sandia National Labs has the Breakfast Burrito reward.  When a team or individual meets a certain performance goal, they get a Breakfast Burrito party.  Status towards achievement is tracked on a poster… red chilies indicate falling behind schedule, and green chilies show if they are on time, or ahead of schedule.  This is very inexpensive, but well received.  Employees love to eat!

Feed the Teams:  Smith and Nephew encourage their various departments to select a weekend to feed the mfg. teams that have to work.  They arrive at 8:00 p.m. Friday night for the second shift, 2:00 a.m. for the third shift, and at noon on Saturday for the first shift.  The teams have been very appreciative.

Executive Lunch:  Tenet HealthSystem selects an employee from each department via e-mail to join Executives (VPs) for lunch.  Approximately 10 executives and 15 employees have lunch in a conference room on the Executive floor on a monthly basis.  There is no set agenda.  Coworkers get a chance to interact with one another, and interact with executives on an informal basis.  This program has done a lot for job engagement.

Order our E-Book,  Boosting Employee Engagement: 50 Ways to Motivate and Unleash Employee Performance for $12.95

Job Engagement

Greg Smith | Lead Navigator | 770-860-9464 | Chart Your Course International |

Posted in Employee appreciation, Employee Engagement, Employee Recognition, Employee Retention, Job Satisfaction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment