Recently, one of my daughters visited her grandfather, and she confided in him that she was having some difficulty with her manager. He shared some words of wisdom with her, based on his own management experience. He told her to remember that she didn't work for the manager but for the "company". He went on to share with her that as a manager, he made sure his employees knew that they didn't work for him, that they worked for the company. It was a different perspective than she had anticipated.
Management can be tricky, and finding ways to engage employees in a positive manner is the key component in optimal productivity. Vic Lipman reported in Forbes on a study about employee engagement (People Leave Mangers, Not Companies, August 2015). The study provided some pretty astounding stats. For example:
"There are subtle differences in how different studies define "employee engagement," but the commonalities among the various studies are far more important than the differences. No matter how you slice the data, in the big picture somewhere around 60% or 70% of employees are simply not working- say it straight- as hard as they could be. Let's take some examples. Gallup data shows 30% of employees "engaged." Towers Watson data shows 35% "highly engaged." Dale Carnegie data shows 29% "fully engaged." And these aren't small studies; the Gallup survey includes more than 350,000 respondents and the Towers Watson survey includes more than 32,000. Gallup goes on to estimate an annual cost in lost U.S. productivity of more than $450 billion. This is a staggering figure. Even if it's imprecise, it gives a sense of the magnitude of the problem."
That is some powerful information and it goes a long way in showing how lacking people can be with management skills. Lipman went on to say that Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, in the summary accompanying his organization's 2013 "State of the American Workplace" employee engagement study showed that the biggest decision employers make is who to hire as managers. When the wrong person becomes manager, there is nothing that will repair the damage of the bad decisions made by that manager...nothing. He says that benefits, compensation, nor other measures can truly fix the problems.
Good managers know how to inspire and motivate their employees. Like Pop, my dad, has said, part of becoming a good manager is just treating people the way that you would want someone to treat you.
Work hard, be productive, and above all else stay positive.
Peggy White, Executive Director of Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce