How to Enthuse Your Employees

Article excerpt

Human resource managers spend a great deal of their time dealing with difficult, angry or disgruntled employees. In doing so, they tend to ignore the "walking indifferent", those people who have learned not to expect too much and not to give too much. These workers never give voice to their complaints, but they are rarely satisfied by the companies for which they work. In return, they give these companies a mere fraction of what they are capable of contributing. The economic cost to the affected businesses is enormous, according to David Sirota, Louis A Mischkind and Michael Meltzer of Sirota Consulting.

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In their book, The Enthusiastic Employee, published by Prentice-Hall in 2005, Sirota and his colleagues describe the usual strategies employed by companies to overcome this problem: coercive behaviour, close supervision and pressure to perform, or motivation of workers through "rah-rah" events, speakers and programmes. Neither, in their view, will do much good. In order to turn indifferent workers into enthusiastic workers, they argue, there is only one solution. Companies must understand what their workers want and then they must satisfy these wants. …