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ASHLAND — Beth Delaney has owned Spherion Mid-Ohio for 21 years. 

She helps connect job candidates with companies based on background, experience and career goals. She works with over 100 companies across multiple sectors. Delaney said she’s worn every hat possible in her career. 

Now, Delaney’s wearing another. She, along with other Spherion owners nationwide, is working to confront a disengagement crisis in the workplace — a phenomenon dubbed the “Great Disconnection,” according to Robert Walters, a global recruitment company. 

“We don’t know why, but employees are becoming increasingly disconnected from their workplace,” Delaney said. 

A Gallup poll conducted in 2021 marked employee engagement’s first decline in a decade, and that downward trend continued in 2022. Only 32% of employees reported being engaged in their workplaces, while 18% reported being actively disengaged.

Gallup measures employee engagement using a Q12 survey, which asks about major needs managers can meet to improve employee productivity.

Delaney thinks employers and companies alike need to be aware of this disengagement problem. And, she said, it’s also the reason Spherion has launched initiatives aimed at giving back to its employees. 

Enter a new Spherion program: “The Orange Vault.”

How it works

The program, which runs from Aug. 21 to Sept. 15, will hand out cash prizes of $100, $200 or $300 to employees on assignment and in good standing with Spherion. It’s a national program created by corporate headquarters. Spherion Mid-Ohio will participate. 

Peoples’ names automatically get entered in to win the prizes if they meet those qualifications, Delaney said. 

At the end of the competition, one employee will win a $10,000 prize, too. Delaney said she hopes that prize might go to somebody in the area. 

But, no matter what, she said 33 Spherion employees in her offices will win cash prizes over the competition’s run. 

“I think everyone gets excited to have their name drawn and be handed $100 or $300 in cash,” Delaney said. “People like to win.” 

She added that the $10,000 prize would be “life changing” for someone, and that the stories of what people do with the funds are moving. 

Most people who win the prizes, Delaney said, don’t use the money for themselves. They opt, instead, to use it for activities or gifts to family or friends. 

“It’s just fun,” Delaney said. “It’s engaging to our staff and our offices to give out rewards.” 

Delaney said the last week of the program falls during Spherion’s National Staffing Week. During that week, Spherion gives gifts to all of its employees. She encouraged people to follow along with Spherion Mid-Ohio’s social media accounts as they give out the prize money each week. You can find them on Instagram at @spherionmidohio, or on Facebook.

Ashland Source's Report for America corps member. She covers education and workforce development, among other things, for Ashland Source. Thomas comes to Ashland Source from Montana, where she graduated...