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You’ll Never Guess Who’s Most Likely to be Disengaged

You’ll Never Guess Who’s Most Likely to be Disengaged

by January 22, 2016

Guess who’s not engaged? It’s not Max the intern, it’s not Carol the two-year account manger, it’s not Tito the oldest Jackson brother, and it is certainly not Brandt, your flashy web developer. It’s Daniel. That’s right, Daniel, your longest tenured employee, is the least engaged. Shocked? So were we, in a recent article published by Harvard Business Review, studies pointed employee disengagement rates directly at the “Daniel” of every company.

“Numerous academic studies have found that individuals with longer organizational tenures tend to achieve higher levels of performance. Their improvement trajectory, likely a mix of their growing capabilities and the growing importance of the jobs they hold, might become less steep over time, yet it continues upward year after year. Experience is such a strong driver of performance that it allows long-tenured employees to outperform the average even despite being less engaged than their colleagues.”– James Harter, Writer, Harvard Business Review.

Whoa. Just knowing your long-time “rock solid” employees are the most at-risk for being disengaged is enough to make any manager sit up and take notice. Instead of panicking, take action! Here are a few tips to get your tenured employees back into the hardy swing of engagement.

Keep the inspirational juices flowing

Get your money’s worth, a disengaged employee is putting in less work and effort. In a recent article featured on Red Branch Media’s blog, Maren Hogan and Kerry Pivovar delve into the dollar value each employee is worth to your company, and the correlating efforts said employee truly puts into your company.

Reasons employees leave range from outside opportunities, pay and interest; among other factors. Even if people aren’t happy with their work, and dare I say disengaged, they will be a lot less motivated to quit because they will not be able to parallel the same benefits package somewhere else. Meaning more low performers will keep putting in the $35,000 basic level of value and collect their $70,000.”

Show your tenured employee they are valued and important by offering a few words of encouragement every now and then. Doing so can build confidence, commitment and loyalty

In a recent study conducted by Harvard Business Review, experts found that 57% of people prefer corrective feedback and 43% prefer feedback that offers praise/recognition.

Here are some quick tactics to get your tenured employee engaged:

  • Personalized emails commending work well done
  • More vacation time
  • Special parking spot
  • Longer lunches

Give your tenured employees new challenges

Think of an employee that has been with your company  since the beginning. Maybe it’s one of your old ad salespersons or senior copywriter how long have they been doing the same work?

Consider bumping up their duties, change up their workflow. Let a seasoned graphic designer try their hand at content writing, (who knows you may have some undiscovered talent.) Even if your tenured employee  isn’t so amazing at their new challenge, your employee will appreciate the thought and effort you put in, in order to switch it up for them.

When you take the time to re-inspire and challenge your tenured employees, you re-instate their purpose to the company as a whole.

Pay bump

Tenured employees are valuable for many reasons. They pass down precise and specific advice to new hires, that only a person who has been in the field (and frankly in your company) can communicate. They embody stability for your company’s, other employees look to your tenured employee as a staple example of what many years at the company looks like for them. With employer loyalty and the amount of time an employee stays at one place declining, it’s harder to keep your longtime employees now more than ever. Data collected from Careerbuilder suggests that 21% of full time employees want to change jobs ASAP.

“Your decision to raise worker pay should be based on careful analysis of how it affects your company’s bottom line. While it might seem counterintuitive, paying ‘efficiency wages’ – the term economists use for higher-than-market wages – can boost productivity and enhance profits. When companies pay more than the prevailing wage, their employees tend to work harder and are less likely to quit, and the companies can attract the best workers in the industry.”-Scott Shane, Contributor, Entrepreneur.

36% of employees say they feel they were overlooked for a promotion. Offering a pay bump may be the best solution for your current employees. Doing this may be a little taxing, but worth it in the grand scheme of things, especially considering the high cost of replacing an employee. The cost of replacing an entry level employee is anywhere between 30% to 50% of their annual salary to replace them.

Incorporate a mentorship program

Have your tenured employees be a source of inspiration to newer employees. When your tenured employees pass down knowledge, it can rekindle the passion they once had for their work, inspiring new outlooks on their projects/tasks as a whole.

In a study conducted by the University of Miami research found that most Fortune 500 companies see mentoring as an essential employee development tool, with more than 70% of them having mentoring programs.

“Workplace mentoring programs help employees do the right thing by exposing them to senior employees that know how to do the right thing. This helps the employee perform more effectively and gives the employee more satisfaction.”- Mentor Scout

Enlist some of your senior employees to help out newer employees, set up a system in which employees can rotate in and out of mentorship, providing a wide view of senior employee advice for your newer workers!

Now that you have a couple of ideas on how to get your tenured employees back into the hardy swing of engagement, put yourself to the test. Sift through your long time employees, apply some of these tips to better enhance said employees time at work.


Photo by sunshinecity
About The Author
Chris Arringdale
Chris Arringdale is the Co-Founder and President of Reviewsnap, an online performance appraisal software that allows you to customize performance management, competencies, rating scales and review periods. Reviewsnap serves more than 1,200 customers worldwide including, Penske Racing, CubeSmart, PrimeSource and Nonprofit HR Solutions.

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