Human Resources



Low-performing workers are the happiest

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More than a third of companies are so ineffective, the top workers don’t care about their jobs and the worst employees are happy and clueless about under-performing.

In fact, in 42% of companies the best workers are the least engaged, a new study by Leadership IQ has found.

Low performers also reported being more engaged – including being more motivated and likely to enjoy their job – than middle and high performers.

“Low performers often end up with the easiest jobs because managers don’t ask much of them,” Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ told Wall Street Journal, adding they are less stressed and more satisfied with their day-to-day lives because of this.

The more dedicated workers in the company often end up working longer hours and correcting the work of the under-achievers, breeding frustration and disengagement.

“They feel stressed and undervalued, and it starts to undermine the high performers’ confidence that the organisation is a meritocracy,” said Murphy.

Murphy told Forbes companies should be worried about these findings, as high performers generally tend to thrive on being challenged and feeling involved. Engaged employees also act as company ambassadors.

If they are bored or feeling under-appreciated, it’s likely they will jump ship, he said.

The survey found in the remaining 58% of organisations, high performers were the most engaged, or engagement scores were roughly equal among employees.

In a few select cases, middle performers were the most engaged. Murphy said this segment of the workforce is often ignored by managers.

Low performers were also found to be more likely than the other two groups to recommend their company as a “great organisation to work for.” In many cases, these employees didn’t even realise they were low performers.

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