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Lessons from the 2006 SHRM conference: Green M&Ms and other little motivational tools

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in Employee Benefits Program,HR Management,Human Resources

Execs talk a lot about external threats to their organization, but they often overlook the elephant in the room: a tuned-out work force that isn't giving 100 percent.

In fact, a recent Gallup survey says 55 percent of employees are not engaged in their work, and a full 19 percent are "actively disengaged." That leaves only 26 percent of employees who feel personally connected to the organization.

"If HR doesn't make it happen, it won't happen," said Scott Cawood, president of research firm ModernThink LLC.

Cawood emphasized that a series of little efforts from leaders—not big, showy actions—help win employee engagement and trust.

Example: A company would set out bowls of green M&Ms whenever the organization achieved a significant financial milestone. The small gesture allowed all workers to join in the company's success.  

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