Do you ever wonder what your employees do all day? If you are a manufacturing boss, you probably have an office with a big window above the factory floor. When you see a worker goofing off, you simply crank up the loudspeaker and scream: "You. Back to work."
If you happened to miss the goofing off, you could wander over to the line and say, "Hey, your pile of sprockets is quite a bit smaller than everyone else's. Are you hung over or something?"
But that type of productive interaction is gradually fading away as the U.S. economy continues its march from manufacturing-based to service-based.
These days, when bosses walk around the office, it sure seems like everyone is working. There's nothing like the soothing sound of thousands of fingers clicking away on the plastic keys of prosperity. Or are they on the phone, pitching the company service to a potential client?
You are just guessing. You don't really know. The fact is, it's not that easy to measure productivity in the new "knowledge" economy - though one tangible measure is employee loyalty, according to a new study.
If you've got it, chances are your business is doing well. If you don't have it, that clicking away you hear may be nothing more than scathing e-mail traffic about you.
"If businesses want to increase employee productivity and bottom-line results, they need to address this issue quickly," said Steve Walker, president of Walker Information, an Indianapolis management-consulting firm.
"There is no doubt that there is a connection between an employee's level of commitment to a company and his/her job performance," Mr. Walker said.
The study by the Hudson Institute, a Washington public-policy research organization, reveals that all is not well on the loyalty front. Its authors say employers must take notice and look for ways to boost loyalty if they hope to succeed.
Less than half of employees, about 45 percent, feel a strong personal attachment to their organization or believe their organization deserves their loyalty, according to the survey of 2,000 full- and part-time employees in the United States.
Only slightly more than half, about 51 percent, would recommend their organizations as a good place to work. Only one-third, about 34 percent, feel an obligation to stay with their employers, and exactly half feel like there are ample opportunities in the work force if they decide to jump ship.
In another troubling statistic, about four in 10 workers, 39 percent, say they feel trapped in their jobs. They are not committed …