Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Business forum: Keep 'em happy - and productive

Treat employees well and reap the rewards in good times and bad.
Minnesotans received some good news recently: The state's unemployment rate hit 5.6 percent in January, the lowest since 2008.
But this news should be a wake-up call to local employers who may be taking the plentiful supply of eager workers for granted. When you take something for granted, it's easy to begin to treat it with indifference or even callous disregard. Sadly, data about workplace satisfaction suggests that is exactly what has been happening.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which has been polling more than 1,000 adults every day since January 2008, indicates that Americans now feel worse about their jobs -- and work environments -- than ever before. People of all ages, and across all income levels, are unhappy with their supervisors, apathetic about their organizations and detached from what they do.
Could it be that companies have forgotten about the importance of keeping employees engaged and productive at work? While the tough economy may be distracting managers, those who have invested in employee engagement are most likely to retain star performers even as the economy continues to improve and employees start exploring their career options.
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