Goofing Off On The Job—And Loving It
A new study finds that, in 42% of companies, low performers actually report being more engaged—more motivated and more likely to enjoy working at their organization, for example—than middle and high performers do, reports Lauren Weber in the Wall Street Journal:
“The findings suggest many organizations are not holding employees accountable for their work, allowing the worst workers to skate by, says Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, the Atlanta-based consulting firm that conducted the survey.
‘Low performers often end up with the easiest jobs because managers don’t ask much of them,’ he said, so they’re under less stress and they’re more satisfied with their daily work lives.
Meanwhile, dedicated and conscientious workers end up staying at the office late, correcting the work of the low performers, and making sure clients or customers are satisfied. This pattern breeds frustration and disengagement in the high performers—and perhaps ultimately drives them to seek work elsewhere. ‘They feel stressed and undervalued, and it starts to undermine the high performers’ confidence that the organization is a meritocracy,’ said Mr. Murphy.
To remedy the situation, managers should speak frankly with high and middle performers, ferreting out what frustrations might potentially send them looking for new opportunities. They should also find out what could motivate them to stick around, he added.” (Read more here.)
I find this surprising. For one thing, an “easy” job doesn’t usually result in engagement and satisfaction at work. Engagement comes from doing meaningful work that is neither too hard (which is frustrating) or too easy (which is boring). It sounds as if these high performing employees are falling into the first of these traps: their work is too hard, too demanding, and they are expected to do far too much.
I’ve been a freelancer for so long that I don’t feel in touch with office life. For those of you who work in offices: Does this ring true?