“I Am Sucking the Lifeblood Out of My Employer”

Photo by Dreamstime
Photo by Dreamstime

If you believe the recent Gallup Employee Engagement Poll (State of the American Workplace) is anywhere near accurate, 18 percent of employees are “actively disengaged” from their jobs and 52 percent are “not engaged.”

That leaves a paltry 30 percent self-classified as “actively engaged.”

So, when was the last time a job applicant told you they only give a 70 percent or 80 percent effort on the job? I’m sure we’d all be floored if a  disengaged or not engaged applicant truthfully said: “I am sucking the lifeblood out of my company. I show up for work every day, but I don’t do anything productive. I’m a real drain on the company and the people I work with.”

Rating their present or former employer

So, here’s a suggestion: Ask job candidates to rate their present or former employer on employee engagement on a scale from 0 – 10 and then ask how they came up with that rating. (The rating they give will most often reflect their own, personal level of engagement.)

Employee engagementCaveat: If an applicant tells you they are not engaged, it’s probably the reason they’re looking for a new job. In that case, ask what the company or manager is doing (or not doing) that prevents them from being fully engaged and at what level they are performing given the circumstances.

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FYI, the 12 questions that comprised the Gallup poll were:

  1. Do you know what is expected of you at work?
  2. Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
  3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
  4. In the last seven (7) days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
  5. Does your supervisor or someone at work seem to care about you as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
  7. At work, do your opinions seem to count?
  8. Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
  9. Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do you have a best friend at work?
  11. In the last six (6) months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
  12. In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?

This was originally published in the October 2013 Humetrics Hiring Hints newsletter.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.

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