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Sleepwalking Through the Work Day

Updated on January 26, 2013

The third of a twelve-part series based the Gallup Q12.

The Gallup Q12 measures employee engagement by asking about twelve key expectations in the workplace. So what does a disengaged employee look like? According to Gallup, "Not-Engaged employees are essentially “checked out.” They are sleepwalking through their workday. They are putting in time, but not enough energy or passion into their work.” (1)

This hub addresses Gallup Q12 Question 3: At work do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? (If you want to see all of the questions, you'll find the link at the end of this article.)

Jack Canfield says, "When your vocation becomes a vacation, you never work another day in your life." What are some of the ways that you can inspire your employees to do and be at their best on the job?

Ali Asadi, business consultant, public speaker and the author of The Golden Rules of Human Resource Management has found, “There are many other factors besides the paycheck that motivate employees to stay on and deliver better results. Motivation is an important subject in its own right, and much research has gone into how employees are motivated. I list some of the most important ones here. (2)

• “The challenge of the job

• The workplace environment

• Flexibility in the workplace

• Recognition

• Being part of a friendly and supportive team

• A fair workplace

• Good communication

Other nonfinancial factors, such as:

• Personal growth

• Career advancement opportunity

• Flexible work schedule

• Appreciation

• Camaraderie

• The Golden Rule”

This is an excellent checklist for you to gauge the success of your organization’s efforts to create a culture of appreciation. What are you doing to motivate your employees? Is your workplace challenging, yet fair? Does your staff have flexibility in the way they do their job? Are they recognized when they go above and beyond their current role? Is your corporate communication open and honest, or conducted behind closed doors?

Assess your environment to see where improvements can be made. Here are a few painless ways to get started:

1. Let the staff know that you and your management team are looking to change the environment to one that is more open and positive. If you need to, confess that you have not been particularly good in a specific area. Let your staff know that you are going to make a concentrated effort to change, starting immediately.

2. Ask for input. The staff may be a little leery at first, so use Survey Monkey, or an employee suggestion box to start to receive feedback. Let the ideas be anonymous at first, so everyone is comfortable sharing.

3. Implement ideas from the suggestions received. If there was a name attached to the recommendation, make sure you recognize the individual’s contribution. Let the staff know when a new policy was implemented based on a team member’s idea. This lets the staff know that you are listening.

4. When an employee presented an extraordinarily profitable, creative, or unique idea, give him or her a monetary reward - even if it’s just a gift certificate to a local restaurant or coffee shop.

When management takes the time to figure out specifically what makes their employees "tick," it goes a long way in promoting engagement, enthusiasm, and empowerment on the job. Use the above checklist for ideas that you can incorporate today to make your organization more successful tomorrow.


(1) Chicago: Gallup Q12, (accessed January 20, 2013).

(2) What non-monetary forms of recognition do you use with your ... (n.d.). Retrieved from


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