Paycheck Only Employees and Other Cultural Blunders

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Paycheck only employees

Paycheck Only Employees and Other Cultural Blunders

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Clients often tell me, “We have paycheck only employees.” Their statement is often a cry for help. Does the available workforce, societal trends, or the culture of the organization create this situation, perhaps it is all three, and many other factors.

Facts and Myths

Certainly, there are challenges with the workforce demographics in many areas. This is not a myth it is a fact. Societal trends, certainly, yes, they also condition much of the attitude and temperament about employment.

What about the organization, is it possible that the organizational culture also affects or has responsibility for the creation of this so-called paycheck only employee?

Find What You Seek

Sometimes we find exactly what we seek. Perhaps a parent cautioned you back in the day, “Don’t go looking for trouble.” Did you listen? Most or at least many probably did. They tried hard to steer clear of what appeared to be potential trouble.

What does your organization seek? Does the help wanted ad focus on money or the job?

This doesn’t mean the amount of verbiage committed to describing the organization or the job; it means what is the attraction point and the culture? What are you advertising? Are you looking for paycheck only employees?

Driven By Emotion

People assess the environment by what they feel. Certainly, many authoritarian environments have executives urging people to remove the emotion, but emotion still guides many of the choices.

The unemotional executive probably doesn’t drive a nice car or live in a nice place, with nice things. Nice things are an emotional choice. Perhaps fulfilling some practical needs, but often also expensive. They are beyond need, they are about a feeling and are driven by emotion.

People are driven (or not) by emotion. What are the cultural indicators in your organization? When your organization offers a job, what is the selling point? Is it money? Is it about a career, a stepping stone, or just fulfilling a need?

The employee who only wants money and the organization that only offers to fulfill that need are sometimes a perfect match. The people are there for a paycheck. Caring on the other hand, that is emotional, it is also optional. You’ll expect higher turnover, you’ll get it.

Paycheck Only Employees

When the environment feels like the organization doesn’t truly care about the employee, the employee really doesn’t really care about the organization.

Advertise what you seek, be what you advertise. Deliver on the promise.

You’ll find what you are looking for, everything else is only about the paycheck.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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