Career / Life Consultants

Disengaged Workers – A Shared Responsibility?

 A 2013 study from the Gallup Organization reports that “70 percent of Americans are “emotionally disconnected at work and less likely to be productive.”  Gallup statistics show that these findings have not changed over the past decade.  Consistently, only 30 percent of  American workers report that they are “emotionally engaged” in their work.  Even the Great American Recession and increased unemployment did not impact these statistics! 

 One of Gallup’s primary purposes  is to train managers to be more effective coaches.  Thus, it’s no surprise that Gallup would place the blame for unmotivated workers squarely on the shoulders of managers  who “never learned basic people skills to make others feel good about themselves and their work.”  (See the 2013 Gallup “State of the American Workforce Report ” –

Granted, anyone who has ever worked for someone else knows that the manager does play an important role in his/her work experience.  But “emotional engagement” is not achieved by “learning the basic managerial skills”  – it is achieved by doing work that engages your natural talent.   In other words, managers who are able to effectively engage workers must possess core strengths for skills like listening, empathizing and strategizing – all of which are difficult to perform  with “emotional engagement” if  they are not natural talents..

But let’s consider your own job “fit.”   Have you taken the time to really define what  motivates you? Have you figured out just how your core strengths could best be used and developed in your organization?  Have you shared these ideas with your manager? And if you haven’t figured out your own “best fit” scenario — is it reasonable to expect your manager to do so?

We need to recognize that as individual employees, we share heavily in the responsibility for becoming an “emotionally engaged” worker.   Yes, especially in a recessionary period, we may find ourselves unable to find that “best fit” role.  But we can still help our managers to help us if we know (and communicate to him/her) our core strengths and how these strengths can be best used (and developed) to meet current and future business needs.

 Unfortunately, most of us go through life without seriously examining these questions: 

      What am I motivated to do?

  • In what kind of scenarios am I most motivated and productive?
  • What do I really want from my work?

 If you are like most people, you have yet to sort out the things you are good at and “motivated” to accomplish.  As a result, it is unlikely that you use (or have developed) these  talents as completely or effectively as you could.  And if you are reading this blog, you are quite likely a part of the 70% of Americans who are “emotionally disconnected” at work. 

 The purpose of the SIMA® Assessment is the identification of your core strengths and vocationally significant motivations. To participate in this assessment, you will need to list and describe things you have done that:

       1. You believed you did well;

        2. You enjoyed doing; and/or,

        3. Provided you with a sense of personal satisfaction or achievement.


Such achievement activities may have occurred in your school, your home life, your leisure time, your religious affiliations, or your music /athletic activities.

Sometimes our clients feel like this will be such an overwhelming task that they will never be able to complete it – or they may feel that their accomplishments simply aren’t “Nobel Prize” quality and thus not “worthy” of the process.  Please be assured that even the most ordinary achievements are rich with relevant data if these activities meet the three criteria listed above.

Most of our clients get started by thinking of achievements from their childhood/youth. These activities are often fond memories and yet provide critical insight and evidence of future core strengths. If you would like to give this a try, describe a couple of your achievements and send them to me.   I will offer guidance as to whether or not you are on the right track and explain the next steps for helping you to discover what you are “designed” to do!

This is not a “test” – it is a process of reflection.  It is important that you put down what was personally satisfying to you.  Do not include achievement activities that others felt were important, yet were insignificant to you.  Also, it is essential that you describe specific achievement activities that display you in action.

I look forward to seeing the results of your efforts.

Marlys Hanson INC.

Career / Life Consultants 



Is your job or …

Is your job or career a good fit for you?