As reported recently by Bloomberg Business, workers at some Amazon.com warehouses get a steady stream of company-provided reading: the stories of co-workers fired for theft. In an effort to discourage stealing, Amazon has put up flat screen TVs that display examples of alleged on-the-job theft. Each is represented by a black silhouette stamped with the word “terminated” and accompanied by details such as when they stole, what they stole, how much it was worth, and how they got caught. Some of the silhouettes are marked “arrested.”
Call me crazy, but based on everything I know about employee engagement, although this strategy put in place by senior leaders may stop people from stealing, it does nothing to re-engage miserable workers. Workers re-engage when they trust senior leaders and feel an emotional commitment to the organization.
I just looked at the Table of Contents in my new book If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement. I don’t see a chapter called “Scare Them Straight.” I see chapters called Get the Right Person in Every Chair, Create a Line of Sight Between What Employees Do Day-to-Day and the Company’s Goals, Build a Two-Way Communication Culture, and Recognize People.
While I understand what senior leaders are trying to do, I have a hard time understanding how this strategy will re-engage miserable workers and inspire them to give a boatload of discretionary effort on the job. I have a strategy that does accomplish this, however. Call me and let’s talk about how to re-engage your employees, and catapult your customer satisfaction and business results. No flat screen TVs involved.