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2/2/2017 3ReasonsEmployeeEngagementIsDecliningAndHowManagersCanImproveIt

Leadership / #LikeABoss
FEB 1, 2017 @ 10:02 AM 484 VIEWS

3ReasonsEmployee
EngagementIs
DecliningAndHow
ManagersCan
ImproveIt
Victor Lipman, CONTRIBUTOR
I write about management in its many forms.
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FULL BIO
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
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TWEET THIS CourtyardNavyYarduses
Skywalktodecreaseutility
Engaged employees are usually more
committed, hard-working, and productive. costsby10%
Lack of management transparency is, like lack
of recognition, another common morale-killer.
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2/2/2017 3ReasonsEmployeeEngagementIsDecliningAndHowManagersCanImproveIt

Employeeengagementisoneofthose

managementattributesthatcanbehardto
define.Differentcompaniescharacterizeit
differently,buttheresonethingtheypretty
muchallagreeon:Theydowantengaged
employees.Why?Itssimple:Engaged
employeesareusuallymorecommitted,
hardworking,andproductive.

Whichiswhyitwasdisturbing(thoughnot
toosurprising)toreadaboutdeclinesinkey
managementmetricsinanewreportfrom
TINYpulse,2017EmployeeEngagement
Report:TheBrokenBridgesofthe
Workplace.

Therearethreemeasuresinparticularin
thisresearchthatIfeelgototheheartof
substantiveproblemsmanagementoften
dealswithproblemsthatifnotresolved
havefarreachingconsequencesonemployee
engagement(ormoreaccurately,
disengagement),productivityandretention.
Thethreemeasuresare:

WatchonForbes:

Lackofemployee
recognition.Accordingtothesurvey,the
numberofemployeeswhofeelstrongly
valuedatworkdropped16%from31%in
theprioryearssurveyto26%inthecurrent
http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2017/02/01/3reasonsemployeeengagementisdecliningandhowmanagerscanimproveit/#69c009b12ac2 2/21
2/2/2017 3ReasonsEmployeeEngagementIsDecliningAndHowManagersCanImproveIt

one.Thefactthatbarelymorethanonein

fouremployeesfeelsvaluedisasad
commentaryonmanagement.Overthe
yearsIvespokenwithmany,many
employeeswhodidntfeelvaluedintheir
jobs,andthissortofmalaiseisusuallya
deeplypersonaldisturbancethatrarelyhasa
goodoutcome(e.g.disengagement,reduced
productivity,leavingforgreenerpastures).
Themostunfortunatepartis,thekindof
recognitionthatisoftenmostdesired
simple,honestwordsofpraisefromones
directmanagerhasnocostandtakeslittle
effort.Yetorganizationscontinuetofalterin
thisregard,asthiscurrentsurveyindicates,
atahighcosttomanycompanies.

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Managers,Not BetterEmployee
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Lackoftransparency.Lackof
managementtransparencyis,likelackof
recognition,anothercommonmoralekiller.
Whywouldntitbe?Whowantstofeel
theirownmanagementisroutinelylessthan
directandhonestwiththem?Yetthissurvey
placesthenumberofemployeeswhofeel
managementisverytransparentatonly
25%.(Thefigurerisesto42%forthosewho
arepartofmanagement.)Butifonlyonein
fourindividualsontheemployeesidefeels
transparency,thegreatmajorityinhabitan
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2/2/2017 3ReasonsEmployeeEngagementIsDecliningAndHowManagersCanImproveIt

atleastsomewhatmistrustfulenvironment

whereitsonlynaturalformotivationand
extraefforttolag.

Disconnectionfrompeers.Theresa
mountainofdataoutthere(plusofcourse
goodoldcommonsense)thattellsyouthat
onthejobrelationshipsareanintegral
elementoftheemployeeengagement
formula.Acollegialdaytodayenvironment
makesagreatdifferenceinonesexperience
ofwork.Yetdatainthissurveyshowsthat
only24%ofemployeesfeelstrongly
connectedtotheircoworkers,an11%drop
fromtheprioryear.Acommonthemein
employeeresponseswasmyteamisOK,but
othersarent.Orasthereportconcluded,
Managementsfailuretofostercross
functionalrelationshipsisincreasingthe
gapbetweendepartments.Only27%of
employeesthoughttheircompanywas
doingagreatjobwithteambuilding.

Thebadnewsaboutthesenumbersisthat
theyrebadforbusiness.Verybadfor
business.Andtheyreunnecessary.Very
unnecessary.Issueslikerecognitionand
transparencyandteambuildingdonttakea
hugemanagementefforttoaddress.They
dontrequiremassivebudgetsorcomplex
projectplans.

Thegoodnewsaboutthesekindofnumbers
isthatwiththerightkindofmanagement
thesenumbersarefixable.Veryfixable.
Noneareinsolubleoreven,forwelltrained
andthoughtfulmanagers,difficult.They
takenogreattechnicalskillsthatcanonlybe
learnedbyMBAsfromBschoolswithivy
growingonthem.

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2/2/2017 3ReasonsEmployeeEngagementIsDecliningAndHowManagersCanImproveIt

Recognizingandvaluingemployeesis

simpleitjusttakesalittletimeandeffort
andawarenessthatitdoesindeedmakea
difference.ThewayIliketoputit:Theres
littleforamanagertogainbybeing
emotionallystingy.

Transparencyiseasierstill.Itsarguably
hardertonotbetransparentandtohaveto
makeupexplanationsthatarentrealbut
soundcredible.Transparencyjustinvolves
open,straightforwardcommunicationplus
ofcourseaseniormanagementwhowill
supportit.

Helpingtocreateapositiveteam
environmentwhereemployeesfeelfreeto
speaktheirmindsandconnectwitheach
otherisabitmorecomplex,butbynomeans
unattainable.Mostlyittakesmanagerswho
understandhowdifferentpersonalities
interactandwhocanmakeemployeesfeel
comfortablewhilestillgettingtheneeded
results.Ittakesmanagerswhocancreatean
openatmospherewherefriendshipscan
flourish.

Notonedominatedbyfearanduncertainty.

***

VictorLipmanisanexecutivecoachand
authorofTheTypeBManager.

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