The Silent Employee Engagement Killer: Status Quo

Posted on February 15, 2015 by

One of the greatest challenges of making it in today’s competitive marketplace is to find creative ways of keeping employees engaged. There is nothing worse than losing your star employees to a competitor, which can be a blow to any company’s success. This may not only result in lost profits over time but also a loss of institutional knowledge. That is why it is essential to find ways to keep employees aligned with your company’s vision, while keeping them motivated.

What can managers do to keep employees advancing that go beyond merely recognizing good work and the occasional training program designed to maximize their productivity? This is a question that many people in higher positions regularly ask themselves and new forms of technology have evolved over time to find ways to make the process easier. One problem that tends to stick out in most scenarios is the issue of status quo.

What is the Status Quo and why is it Defective in Most Organizations?

 The status quo is essentially the existing or current state of affairs. Many organizations believe that it’s OK to keep everything exactly the way it is and hence maintain their status quo. In a utopian world, it would highly desirable to keep everything the way it is, without having to change a single thing. But in the real world, that is far from possible.

The world today is in a constant state of flux with competitors regularly changing their strategies, governments devising new policies, unions bringing on strikes, customers changing their decisions quickly and the occasional disasters that bring even more havoc into the equation. More trendy today is the idea of “anti-status quo” or the ability to prevent the familiar and sameness from creeping into one’s organization.

But what causes so many companies to get so firmly latched in the status quo in the first place? Here are a few ideas as to why so many businesses fail to move on even when all the signs point towards the need for change.

  • Some businesses prefer to avoid change as much as possible due to distaste for the risk that accompanies it. This can lead to dire consequences as the need for change builds up to a point where crisis situations can occur. Some organizations also get constantly stuck in the planning stages of change but forget about actually executing the proposed changes, leading to relapse in the status quo.
  • If employees are not aligned with your business goals and company vision, they will have a hard time becoming engaged and focused on their work. It is only a matter of time that they will look for “sweeter” offers elsewhere.
  • Open communication is a must for any organization and letting sub-par employees know about their undesirable performance is necessary to prevent mediocrity from making its way into the entire workforce. Employees should have clear objectives as to their tasks at hand and reward systems can be used to show top performers that they are doing a great job, while letter underperformers know about their downfalls.

What Can Be Done To Dissolve The Status Quo?

Many organizations still use old-fashioned methods of trying to keep their employees engages, such as the use of surveys given out annually or rewarding great attendance in comparison to stellar performance. These methods have been proven to be particularly ineffective with younger workers.

Fortunately, there is now excellent software available on the market to give employees a better chance to score their opinions. Real-time comments on behalf of the employees and critiques by employers can be used to quickly make appropriate adjustments in the behaviors of the entire workforce, leading to a far more stimulating and engaging work environment. These platforms can also help managers and employers send each other recognition for their work, quickly and easily. A little polite thanks every now and then can truly go a long way in helping to improve the overall performance of the organization.

The electronic means of sending recognition, feedback and critiques can also be accompanied with tangible rewards, designed to motivate your employees even further. Many such rewards can also be given instantly such as gift cards to show appreciation for a job well done. The idea of instant feedback will ensure that employees never feel like their voices aren’t being heard and show that the upper management circles truly care about their needs and concerns.

These techniques for getting rid of the status quo can do so much more for the company aside from acknowledging great performance and offering real-time feedback, they can also redefine the values of a company and help employees understand the grand company vision and business goals. The important thing is to remember to keep such adjustments consistent, so that all potential changes are truly effective and continue to spread across all members that use the platform.

Aligning your employees with company objectives can be one of the most important steps you’ll ever take for your business. The idea of creating a rewarding, positive business environment will inevitable result in happier employees and customers.

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