05 Jun What These Disengaged Employees Can Teach Us
How appreciating and utilizing your employees’ strengths is key to keeping those big ideas No employee wants to seem disconnected from their work; sometimes, they just don’t feel valued, heard, or appreciated by their employer. Many employees feel their talents aren’t being used to the company’s advantage or feel like they’re just going through the motions. This lack of growth in the work environment triggers the worst possible outcome for an employer: apathy. Apathy in the workplace quickly transforms into a disengaged group of employees, escalating to a downward spiral in productivity, and ends in the eventual outcome of losing the employee. Humans don’t function like machines – we can’t just plug them in, type out a code, and expect each of them to work the same way. In order to achieve maximum success with employees, we need to hone in on their individual strengths and put them to work. If an employee feels they are useful beyond their office skills, can tap into a creative outlet, be upgraded to a management position, or lead the group in a social or environmental mission, they are more likely to be engaged. If we look back and see why employees were disengaged in their work before they found their true calling, maybe our leaders today can learn what they can do to harness their employees strengths and utilize them to benefit the whole.
Before this icon created hundreds of characters that we continue to know and love today, Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job for lack of creativity. His unrecognized talent and the editor’s blindness to Disney’s vision, caused the paper to lose out on the famous Mickey Mouse rights. That paper missed out on a big opportunity due to lack of faith, trust, and pixie dust, didn’t they?
Steve Jobs had been seen as a failure for the majority of his career – even after he founded Apple. His big ideas weren’t being taken seriously, even in his own company. It was only after he left Apple that they realized they needed him back. In the end, he made Apple the profitable company it is today, but it almost drowned without him.
This inventor is the real genius who harnessed the power of electricity, and yet had to bitterly resign from his employer: Thomas Edison. He was promised a bonus, which was never received, and his work was taken for granted. Tesla left for a lesser paying job, and a less glamourous one at that, but later went to discover FM radio, spark plugs, fluorescent lights, robots, take-off aircraft, and the concept behind the electric car.
Book ideas get rejected all the time, and it is one of the hardest industries to break through in. Rowling’s manuscript for the first Harry Potter was rejected by a dozen publishers, and she was told that she should find another job because “there was no money in children’s books.” She is now one of the most successful authors in the industry.
Now a Billionaire Entrepreneur, Cuban was once fired from a software shop for closing a $15,000 sale instead of cleaning up the store. After this, he was inspired to blaze his own path and pursue all of his outrageous ideas. Not all of them have panned out, and he was labeled “an idiot” more times than he can count, but he is now one of the most important and well-respected business icons in the industry.