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Linking Workplace Productivity to Workers’ Involvement

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RISMEDIA, Feb. 22, 2008-(MCT) -Kenneth Tucker has a question for America’s workers: Are you fascinated with your job?

The management consultant and business book author has developed a fascinating theory about workplace production and just how enthralled and mesmerized are employees by their work.

In fact, he has conducted research that shows the level of “fascination” by employees — and management, too — impacts their production.

Unfortunately, when asked if they were fascinated by their work, 70% of employees said ‘no.’

But 90% said they would like to be fascinated with their work because they are more productive when they are “fascinated,” and ideas flow more freely.

“Our research supports that,” Tucker said in a recent visit to Oklahoma City. “A symptom of (fascination) is they lose track of time. It’s getting lost in what you do. It’s being energized doing a task when other people are being fatigued.

“It’s finding that as you do a particular activity you get better and better at it and come up with new ways to do it more efficiently.”

Tucker went to Oklahoma to serve as an executive coach for executives with the Chickasaw Nation, and will return in March for a one-day leadership impact rally.

“Ken has provided guidance to the Commerce Division on how to identify employee strengths so we can match the person to the right job,” said Sherri Waters, chief of staff for the Commerce Division of the Chickasaw Nation.

“This has been very beneficial to our managers and supervisors as well as individual employees.”

Based in Washington, Tucker is a former management consultant for The Gallup Organization. His book “Are You Fascinated” will be published later this month and explores the whole topic of employee fascination.

“We began to understand there is this continuum, and on one end you can walk into an organization and you can sense there is this incredible degree of frustration that people are experiencing,” he said.

“Then on the other end of the continuum there is this sense of excitement. There is this spectrum and the needle is somewhere along the continuum where people are fascinated or the people are frustrated.”

Tucker said he saw levels of fascination when he visited with young Marines training at Quantico, Va.

He was particularly impressed with a Marine pilot who discussed combat missions in the Gulf War.

“I started talking to him, just kind of casual, and I said ‘tell me about the work you do,’ and he talked about the sorties he had flown in the Gulf War, the 20-something sorties he had flown,” Tucker said.

“But as he was talking to me you could see this glint in his eye.

“That’s what happens to us (when we’re fascinated).”

“(Fascination is) finding that as you do a particular activity you get better and better at it and come up with new ways to do it more efficiently.”

Copyright © 2008, The Oklahoman
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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