Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why Employees "Peter Out" After Hire

Q. I have hired many employees, and most are enthusiastic go-getters in the beginning, but after several months their energy diminishes and they become just so-so in their productivity. What causes this, and should I refer them to our company employee assistance program when I see this happen?

A. When someone is fresh and new on the job, energy abounds. It’s like starting a new weight-loss program—nothing could be more exciting. But then things change. To understand diminishing enthusiasm after hiring, look at what is happening between the employee and management at the time of hire. In the beginning, especially the first couple of months, new employees are treated like celebrities. They may receive higher compensation than they had at their previous job. They are made to feel excited about the future, with anticipated achievements. And they experience camaraderie. Along with just compensation, achievement and camaraderie have been identified in many studies as essential to maintaining employee enthusiasm. It appears that in the beginning, much of what drives enthusiasm is naturally in place. Learn how to keep this motivating atmosphere thriving and you will impact enthusiasm favorably. If your attempts to fire up enthusiasm are not successful and productivity standards are not satisfactory, a referral to your organization's employee assistance program is a good idea.