Success relies on capturing discretionary energy from your people

Businesses owners focus on employee attendance, but how much of the employee are you really getting? You measure absenteeism, but many businesses have an issue with what I call “presenteeism”. This is much harder to spot and much more insidious because while you have their physical presence you are not getting the output from the whole employee.

There is an untapped portion in most employees that I call “discretionary energy”….. and this is almost certainly the part that you aren’t getting. A Gallup Survey last year found that 70% of employees in America are disengaged, and that is a frightening number. These people are withholding their discretionary energy and it is one of the biggest profit leaks in business.

Even your best employees could probably give 10 to 15% more than they currently are. Finding this discretionary energy is not easy and has been the subject of countless books on motivation and leadership. I will write about that elsewhere. As far as this thought is concerned, look at your workforce and recognize that there is always more to be had.

Then take a long, hard look at your organization and ask yourself how hard people are really working. Which of your employees exhibit a disengaged profile and what should you do about it? Could less people could do the same work?

These questions are the start of a process I will be writing more about over the coming weeks.