HR can spend a lot of time and money trying to keep their employees engaged, which is based on the premise that engaged employees have higher rates of productivity and retention. However, one recent survey has shown this does not necessarily hold true.
A study by consulting firm Leadership IQ has found that in 42% of companies, low performers actually report being more engaged than middle and high performers do. They are also more likely to feel more motivated and enjoy working at their organizations more.
Findings showed that on a seven-point scale, low performers gave a 5.99 score when rating the statement “I am motivated to give 100% effort when I’m at work.” High performers gave an aggregate score of 5.36 and middle performers’ score was 5.32, the lowest. Low performers were also more likely than the other two groups to recommend their company as a “great organization to work for.”
Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, says that companies are not holding staff responsible for their work, allowing their weakest workers to cruise along.
“Low performers often end up with the easiest jobs because managers don’t ask much of them,” he was quoted as saying in Wall Street Journal. This means that they have the least amount of stress and have better work-life balance due to the lesser workload.
Meanwhile, workers with top performance end up staying late correcting the work of under-performers, and making sure that clients are happy. This could result in frustration and disengagement in the high performers – and perhaps ultimately drive them to seek work elsewhere. “They feel stressed and undervalued, and it starts to undermine the high performers’ confidence that the organization is a meritocracy,” said Murphy.