Diminished Motivation on the Job…

Johnny-on-the- Spot

A recent Gallup poll revealed there are lots of bored employees out there.

The study said 71% of workers were “unmotivated”.

By definition, nearly three-fourths of American workers do not have an interest in or enthusiasm for their occupation.

Who’s to blame for that?

Well, Carlos Castaneda said, “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

So where’s the problem?

Look in the mirror,  unhappy workers!

Of  that 71% number, 54% said they were “not engaged at all” and 17% were “actively disengaged.”


They’re emotionally detached from their work.

These are the folks who show up for work, give the minimal effort to get by and then go home.

“Going above and beyond” is not something you find with these folks.

Experience has shown me that they’re often the biggest grumblers and complainers.

They are the ones that love the “suggestion box” because they can express an opinion and remain anonymous.

Don’t get me wrong.

I don’t dislike “bitchers” as long as they have the strength of conviction to own up to their complaints.

And, more than complain, how about an option to deal with that?

It appears the “work ethic” in American is on life-support.

A ventilation machine, perhaps?

“Work ethic” is “the principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward.”

For the 71% of workers who are unmotivated, can you show me the mark on your head where someone pressed a weapon to your temple and told you to take that job?

And stay there.

You don’t like your work?

Whose problem is that?

Again, look in the mirror.

That noted person, “anonymous” said , “The greatest waste of our natural resources is the number of people who never achieve their potential. Get out of that slow lane. Shift into that fast lane. If you think you can, there’s a good chance you will. Even making the effort will make you feel like a new person. Reputations are made by searching  for things that can’t be done and doing them. Aim low: Boring. Aim high: Soaring.”

Years ago, a friend told me to find a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

I’m afraid, though that some take that literally.

I’ve always enjoyed my work but I have had times when I emphasized with ax murders.

Sometimes my work required me to perform unpleasant tasks, (nothing illegal, mind you) but sometimes personnel issues can be “itchy”.

For the most part, I’ve been blessed to work with great people.

But working with difficult people can a positive, too.

Geraldine Laybourne, chairperson of Oxygen Media said, “When people complained to me about bad bosses, she’d say, ‘Aren’t you lucky,’ because the more examples of bad management you see, the more you’ll learn. I learned more from my worst boss than I did from my best. I took notes on how I would NOT manage.”

There’s a “lemons and lemonade” analogy there.

I honestly believe there is no amount of money that could keep me doing a job that I didn’t enjoy.

The best thing I ever did a number of years ago was to leave the broadcast profession and take a job that, at the time, paid me more money than I had ever known.

It was a management position with great benefits and a company car.

It’s what I thought I really wanted.

Until the morning I was looking in the mirror and I told myself, “I hate this job!”

So I quit.

When I showed up at home, my wife said, “You’re home early.”

I said, “I know’ I just quit my job.”

“What do you want to do?” she asked.

I said I just wanted to chill for awhile. The job had burned me out.

I chilled till the next morning.

I started calling folks I knew and before long, I was back in media work.

Been there ever since.

Viktor Frankl said, “The last of the human freedoms…to choose one’s attitude in any set of circumstances.”

My wife could have gone ballistic when I told her I quit my job or I could have continued at a job that I did not like until it consumed me.

There’s a history of heart attacks in the Foster family.

But I remembered having a discussion with my father years ago about this very thing.

He told me, “When you have a wife and family depending on you, bills to pay,  sometimes you have to do things that aren’t fun and rewarding.”

And I told him that I would never do that.

He smiled and patted me on the back, probably thinking, “Naive, idealistic kid. You’ll see.”

Well, I held true to that statement when faced with the challenge.

I’ve always been motivated but I don’t depend on the company I work for to provide that.

I’ve always had my own goals and objectives and I figured if I stayed true to them, the company would benefit from this engaged employee.

David Grayson said, “Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work.”

That amazing quote machine, anonymous said, “If you can’t get enthusiastic about your work, it’s time to get alarmed—something is wrong. Compete with yourself; set your teeth and dive  into the job of breaking your own record. No one keeps up his enthusiasm automatically. Enthusiasm must be nourished with new actions, new aspirations, new efforts, new vision. It’s one’s own fault if his enthusiasm is gone; he has failed to feed it. If you want to turn hours into minutes, renew your enthusiasm.”

So, if you’re unmotivated and disengaged, remember these words from management consultant, educator and author Peter F. Drucker.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”


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