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College-educated workers lag in engagement

Companies strive to hire the most talented workers and keep them motivated through employee rewards programs.

Companies strive to hire the most talented workers and keep them motivated through employee rewards programs. However, new data revealed that the more qualified an individual is, the less engaged he or she may be with a job.

According to Gallup, the level of engagement among workers drops as education increases. Approximately 32 percent of respondents with a high school diploma or degree said they were tuned into their jobs, whereas 28 percent of employees with a bachelor's degree said similarly.

One reason the research offered to explain the low rate of motivation among college graduates is a difference in expectations, with an increased amount of education leading individuals to look for positions that justify the amount of time and money they put into attaining their degrees.

"The key driver of college graduates being less engaged is that they are much less likely than everyone else to say they have an opportunity to 'do what they do best every day,'" Executive Director of Gallup Education Brandon Busteed told the Gallup Business Journal. "Something about college isn't working – it appears it doesn't do a good enough job of bringing students closer to figuring out what they are best at."

However, there are strategies employers can deploy to motivate talented college graduates, the news source explained. Businesses need to identify workers' needs and expectations in order to successfully implement reward initiatives. This process will also help them mine individuals' knowledge, which cyclically boosts engagement.

In an article for Wired, Sanjay Sathe, president and CEO of RiseSmart, suggested that companies may want to begin with having leadership reflect on how they can inspire from the top. Do certain processes need to be broken down? Are firms lacking in transparency? 

Whatever it may be, businesses do not want to let the problem linger. Highly educated individuals offer firms a pivotal opportunity to surpass the competition.

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