Employees with Paycheck Mentalities?

“If your employees do not connect to a purpose, they will connect to a paycheck.” – James Bird Guess

Are you a leader attempting to communicate purpose to your people? Think of a puzzle inside a box. A puzzle is made up of many pieces. The picture of what the puzzle is supposed to look like once it’s completed is shown on the outside of the box. This “big picture” is like the vision for your organization, and the puzzle pieces represent the many tasks, goals, and responsibilities required to achieve the vision or big picture.

Just imagine if you gave a team of people different amounts of puzzle pieces and told them to put the puzzle together by a deadline, and yet you never showed them the big picture on the box. They would still probably be able to complete the puzzle, but they would be able to do it much faster and with less frustration if they knew the purpose, the vision, the big picture of what it’s supposed to look like after all the hard work. Your job as an authentic leader is to keep showing them, keep reminding them in your own unique way, what the vision and big picture will look like once completed.

From our experience, after having conducted on-site training for managers and supervisors in companies across the U.S. about 50 percent of an organization’s employees have “paycheck mentalities.” These employees are actually withholding anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of effort and energy, which means if their salary is roughly $50,000 annually, they are only contributing $37,500 worth of effort. Listed below are signs to look for:

  • Neither fully committed nor uncommitted to daily work, direct manager, team and the organization.
  • Perform just enough to get by and often go through the motions with tasks and duties.
  • Does not see any connection between personal and professional goals with job duties and typically meets basic expectations.

While that statistic may sound alarming, it is really an opportunity to for an organization’s leaders to reconnect with these employees before they become fully disengaged and problem employees. The most critical element on whether or not they become engaged or disengaged is the environment their direct manager or supervisor creates.

Learn how on-site training equips managers to avoid creating “paycheck mentalities.”

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