The Gallup Group conducts a survey quarterly to find out the level of employee engagement.  What’s interesting is the results have not changed since early 2001.  About 56% of responding employees say there not engaged. Not engaged employees have “checked out.” They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time – but not energy or passion – in their work. About 15% of employees are actively disengaged .  Being actively disengaged means you aren’t just unhappy at work; you’re busy acting out your unhappiness. Every day these employees undermine what their co-workers accomplish. 

So what does that mean for you?  Well just look to the left and then look to the right and include your boss.  Chances are real good that these people you depend upon are in one of these two groups. For example, in a work group of 15, eight are disengaged. Two out of 15 are actively disengaged. It means work has not been a rewarding place for a very long time. That over half of all your co-workers are going to work every day disenchanted and waiting for something better to come along.

I’ve been working with Ellen (name changed to protect her) for about three months. Ellen works with 8 actively disengaged employees. She’s one of the 26% that are still engaged.  But can you imagine working with a whole team whose goal is to undermine her work and that of other employees!  She came to me just after a new boss was appointed over her group.  Shortly afterwards, her co-workers told her she needed to stop supporting her boss. When Ellen refused, the ring leader said “if you don’t we’ll make your life as miserable as his”. With or without you he will leave just like the others.” The only question is will you be happy or miserable while we get rid of him?”

Ellen has a real challenge on her hands.  On one hand she likes her boss and he likes her.  He’s told her her work is really good and he wants to support her in her career endeavors. On the other hand she is angry and resentful because she can’t trust her co-workers and is constantly having to do unnecessary work arounds.  She would be challenged almost daily by one of her co-workers and when she was she would freeze.  She couldn’t think of something to do and how to handle the

Change Management process ITIL

Change Management process ITIL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

sometimes hateful and destructive comments. What used to be a place where she worked passionately has now turned into a place where she must play the worst kind of politics.   You know that game of going along to get along. And constantly hoping someone would do something so that you’re not the object of an overzealous boss or employee.

Ellen and I have been putting the Four Secrets of Successful People to action.  The first steps have been getting to know her gifts and talents and teaching her how to reduce the effects of her anger and resentment at work.  Her hard work is paying off. Ellen recently celebrated that she came home and left the work attitude at work and be completing with her children. We have a clear plan of action for her and we’re building a support system for her so she doesn’t freeze when she’s attached at work.

I’d love to hear from you.  So tell me how do you sustain success when your bored, frustrated, drained or resentful?

The Four Secrets of Successful People:

First, it’s in the definition.  Marcus Buckingham in his book titled: The One Thing You Need to Know notes truly successful people thing of success as making the greatest possible impact over the longest period of time.  Their thinking is focused on the long term not short term goals. They are clear about the difference between goals and strategies.  Most of us aren’t and as such you can see goals as your measure of success.  So that when you miss a goal you feel you’re not a success.  Successful people see missing a goal as simply one step towards achieving their strategy.  As with any strategic plan, you just adjust the goals taking into consideration the new information.

  1. Know Who You Are Today– people who are able to sustain success also know are clear about their value to the world, their internal values, beliefs and talents/gifts.  They are your compass in this life. One of the most important lessons is know how that compass leads you every day, every minute. 
  2. Know Who You Really Want to be in Life.  Clear outcomes are key.  The old saying “if you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there is true. And if you’re not aware of what your gifts and talents are you’re more than likely to lose yourself in the day to day living of life.
  3. Take Charge – Create an Action Plan.   It’s the beginning of the year and we all take a look at what we’ve accomplished.  A great plan takes into account what’s your genius and talents are as well as helps chart how you will use them.  Your compass leads you whether you are conscious about it or not. Successful people are more conscious about using their compass.
  4. Master Change – Change is hard .Successful people know that to remain successful they most master the change process.  Most of us know never learned how to change important aspects of our life.  9 out of 10 people won’t change. That’s a fact. But one person will. Why? Because they have mastered the three R’s essential to change.   Relate – connecting with others on a very personal level.  Successful people connect to others at the core. Those relationships keep them grounded and don’t let the forces of others take them off course.  Reframe- they use others to help them become unstuck. That’s right! They use their network to help them see the problem from multiple perspectives and ask questions that will help them find new alternative. The process of reframing the situation allows them to see new options and possibilities. Retrain – with new questions change masters can focus on learning skills that continue to lead them to success.  And they are not dissuaded by failure. They see failure as one step towards success and their support network reinforces that idea.

So take these four principles and a new definition of success and ponder what 2017 will be like for you.