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The Real Cost Of Unhappy Employees

career career strategy employee engagement

There’s a lot of people unhappy at work. Globally, industries are spending billions trying to re-engage their workforce, with little to show in return. Whether a large multinational or a small employer, disengaged employees cost you real dollars in lost revenue through lost productivity every day.

There is a simpler solution and I can show you it with a piece of string.

Someone told employers they can push a piece of string. You can’t do it. Try.

Employers are trying to push employees to be more motivated and engaged. They are trying to find external solutions to an internal problem but motivation comes from within. The workforce will remain limp, unable to be moved until internal strength is restored.

Only the individual has the power to restore their internal strength. Therefore it is critical to empower the individual. Luckily there’s a neglected powerhouse within every individual. It’s called personal responsibility. It’s also become an endangered species.

We live in a time when we are reneging on our duty to exercise personal responsibility. You hear it all the time. I’m entitled to this…, that’s not my problem…., the company owes me that...

The reasons for diminishing personal responsibility are growing. So too is our belief that we are justified in acting this way, and it’s hurting us. It stunts our growth, both as individuals and as societies we live in.

It’s time to speak out against the chorus of ‘it’s my right!’ because the longer we don’t, the longer we tiptoe around calling it out for what it is - the problem - the longer we all suffer. You, me, your employees, your business, your families.

Businesses need to rethink their approach to improving engagement. What they are doing isn’t working. Engagement stats have flatlined for nearly two decades. 

Costly, lumbering, data-driven programs are floundering because remember, you can’t push a piece of string. The critical key to this is to have the individual expect more from themselves. The surprising truth is many people simply don’t know how. This is why they feel trapped in jobs and spend good parts of the day self-sabotaging opportunities.

One thing that can transform a rudderless employee into a self-directed team player is having a career strategy.

They push us out of school without ever teaching us this key part of navigating our five-decade-long working career. A career strategy is not a blueprint of the jobs you will have. It is a framework that gives purpose and meaning beyond the paycheck. A career strategy puts the individual back behind the wheel. Yes, all of a sudden they ‘feel’ responsible again.

Teaching people career strategy throws light on opportunities in their existing work they’ve been blind to, transforms them from blame maker to responsibility taker and motivates them to self-initiate and self-manage the changes required.

Career strategy alone is not the answer. Traditional engagement programs clearly are not working.  I don’t agree that one approach is better than the other. It’s like trying to argue is a knife or a fork more useful. Each has their own limited utility but used together…wow!  Let’s show employees how to reach up and meet their employer halfway. It’s a win-win.



1. http://news.gallup.com/poll/188144/employee-engagement-stagnant-2015.aspx

2. http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/188033/worldwide-employee-engagement-crisis.aspx

3. https://www.officevibe.com/employee-engagement-roi

4. https://lindagalindo.com/books/85-solution-best-accountability-books/

5. https://thirdsector.com.au/absenteeism-in-the-australian-workplace/

6. http://workplaceinfo.com.au/payroll/leave/news/absenteeism-rates-rocket-10-5-in-a-year%23.Wr85zGZL1R4

7. https://www.officevibe.com/blog/employee-engagement-important

8. http://hs.officevibe.com/hubfs/mini-guides/pdf/ov-state-of-engagement-PDF.pdf

9. https://books.google.com.au/books





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