Overlooked. Unappreciated. Undervalued. Underpaid

Why do any more work than you have to? Why not just do the bare minimum? Why do any more?

Hide in the shadows. Stay out of your bosses cross-hairs. Keep quiet. Keep a low-profile. Do what you’re told. Shut up. Don’t ask questions. Follow the guidelines.

I’ve worked in places like this before. I’m sure you have too. It’s certainly not the type of working environment where Linchpins will thrive. Your employees may be asking themselves, “Why bother? I’ll just show up, take the paycheck and be on my way.”

But what if you were the employer, and you were to make it your goal to foster a working environment where employees were engaged and recognized for their achievements?

What if your employees were encouraged to make decisions and act on their own judgments?

What if you empowered employees to solve customer service complaints without having to speak to the manager first?

Would it be worth the bother?

Just the other day, I overheard a story of a project that’s currently underway. The project includes the installation and setup of some very sophisticated and expensive equipment. It’s costing one company millions of dollars and another company is being paid millions of dollars to complete the project.

It took only one employee, taking a single glance at the project’s progress and saying “stop, wait, you’re installing the entire system backwards.” He was right. Thankfully, luckily, the error was caught before it was too late.

A disgruntled, hidden-in-the-shadows, unrecognized, undervalued, unappreciated employee may have seen the error and kept his mouth shut. He may have driven home that evening with a big smile on his face. Instead, this company is doing its best to foster a working environment where employees are recognized and valued for speaking up. They’re recognized for their achievements and the work is appreciated. Sometimes, even a single nod of recognition is all it takes.

So I’ll ask again, why bother?