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Tag Archives: workplace loyalty

Yet another sure-fire way to create disengaged employees

disengaged employeesLast month, I blogged about two different scenarios demonstrating how otherwise-reasonable managers do stupid things that lead to demotivated and disengaged employees.  Specifically, I wrote about managers who short-sightedly block their employees’ internal transfers and promotions, and those who erroneously mistake attendance for productivity.  Both those posts generated several emails (and even a phone call), all from readers who agreed completely with the points I was making.  A couple of weeks later, I received another email from a reader, outlining yet another situation that occurs repeatedly, almost always resulting in disengaged employees.  This event – when managers watch the clock to see what time employees arrive and leave, but then don’t give them credit for the work they do on their own time – is a huge demotivator.

Work isn’t just done from the office any more!

I couldn’t agree more!  In today’s world of advanced technology, work isn’t just conducted in the office anymore.  Continue reading

Foolish short-sighted management practices … the chronicles continue!

Last week I blogged about managers who short-sightedly block their employees’ internal transfers and promotions.  Well it must have struck a nerve for many, because I received several emails and even a couple of phone calls on the subject (all of whom echoed my sentiments, by the way).  It was during one of these phone conversations that another example of foolish short-sighted management practices came up.  This one: managers who turn absence issues into performance issues.

Attendance does not equal productivity

Now once again, let me clarify.  I’m not talking about the poorly-performing employee who, amongst other failings, is consistently absent without good reason.  Yes, in that situation, it IS a performance issue.  But what I am talking about are the short-sighted managers who equate attendance with productivity.  The reality of life is that employees – good employees – get injured, have children who get sick, face vehicle breakdowns, and experience plumbing emergencies.  And when that happens, what they really value is understanding and flexibility from their boss.  Understanding that they didn’t choose to have this adversity befall them, and the flexibility to find alternate solutions that will allow them to deal with the problem at hand AND meet their responsibilities at work.  If you are the manager who doesn’t get this, then you do so at your own peril! Continue reading

Yet another example of foolish short-sighted company policies!

Over the years, I have often blogged about foolish short-sighted company policies and management practices – forced ranking, archaic performance reviews, the requirement that employees substantiate bereavement leave, assuming that attendance equals productivity – to name just a few.  Well, what is really mind-boggling to me is that the list continues to grow.

Today’s example of foolish short-sighted company policies and/or management practices that is irking me: that a manager can unilaterally deny an employee’s application for an internal transfer or promotion.

Unilaterally denying internal transfers or promotions is just wrong!

Now before you start on me, I am well aware of the reasons that managers might want this discretion.  I fully understand that constant turnover in a department is disruptive and difficult.  Sure, you want employees to be in positions long enough so that they are not just making their way up the learning curve, but also around for a reasonable period to master responsibilities and make positive improvements in their roles.  I get that!

But far too often, I come across managers who hold employees back for no other reason than they want to eliminate (or reduce) interruption and instability in their own departments.  For purely selfish reasons, they block their (good) people from moving on to other favourable opportunities.  And because they have been given the unilateral discretion to deny their employees these possibilities, they do exactly that.  Ironically though, these actions don’t usually benefit either the manager (or the organization) in the long-term.  Good employees who are obstructed from achieving their own aspirations get demoralized and demotivated, and eventually just leave the organization and walk …. usually right over to the competitors.

There is a reasonable alternative

Continue reading

One (foolish) way to create disengaged employees

One of the biggest de-motivators for employees is when their managers can’t (or won’t) exercise flexibility in the application of rules.   I repeatedly blog on how not realizing this leads to disengaged employees – a video blog just last month, and this real-life example about how a talented employee quit – to list just a couple.  Well, it’s happened again!

disengaged employees

I spoke last week to a senior manager at a client organization who oversees a global group of employees who are located in several countries around the world.  In order to keep the lines of communication flowing, she participates in a weekly meeting that is scheduled to fit the working hours of the majority of the attendees.  Unfortunately though, it means that she needs to be online and on the phone at 5 AM in her local time zone.  Not a problem from her perspective, she’d much rather accommodate her staff’s schedules rather than force a meeting time to fit her needs.  Not a problem that is, except for the directive that she has received from her immediate director.

You see, her immediate director insists that she must be present in the company’s offices in order to participate in the meeting.  Yes, that’s right, she can’t dial and log in from her computer in her home office; she must get dressed, drive to work, and sit at her desk in an almost empty office building in order to “work”.  Continue reading

Commitment is more valuable than compliance

CommitmentAs a leader, you want commitment from your employees. Unfortunately, unless you are vigilant, what you may get is compliance. They both look and feel the same – objectives are met, clients are served, things get done – but that is only as long as everything is “situation normal”. It’s when things go wrong – a crisis occurs, emotions escalate, a routine process breaks down – that the difference between commitment and compliance becomes glaringly obvious. If all you had was compliance, look around; you’re likely on your own as your staff will have (emotionally, if not physically) abandoned you. Unfortunately, at that moment, it’s too late to build commitment, and that’s when you need it the most.

The sad truth is that people who are not committed to your vision and goals are unlikely to go “the extra mile” when things go wrong. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and tackling the problem as a team, they are more apt to take the “you’re the boss, you figure it out” approach. Continue reading

Here’s one sure-fire way to create employee disengagement!

A few weeks ago, I blogged about a fairly common workplace practice, particularly in large organizations, of requiring that employees provide a death certificate or a funeral notice in order to take a few days of (paid) bereavement leave. In a nutshell, I believe that this is An archaic practice that destroys trust in the workplace. Well, it prompted a call from a reader, a well-respected manager in a client organization, who wanted to share his personal experience with me. While his incident isn’t exactly the same situation that I outlined in my previous blog post, it is related enough that I thought it was worth writing about today. Unfortunately, this is a prime (sad) example of how to create employee disengagement.

Time PassingSeveral months ago, his mother passed away. Given her age, it was not entirely unexpected, but he and his family were grief-stricken nevertheless. Due to significant work commitments (he was managing a major project implementation), he was able to take only four days off to put his mother to rest, and then he came right back to work. But he felt that he had not fully supported his family through this difficult life transition, so several months later, once the project was winding down, he sought to repair this deficit. He tried to negotiate some substantial time off from the company so that he could spend some time reflecting and grieving his loss with others in his family. Much to his dismay, the company wouldn’t oblige. Continue reading

An archaic practice that destroys trust in the workplace

A yellow folder with the label PoliciesIn May last year, I wrote a couple of blog posts about trust in the workplace – Is it earned or lost? and How can you build it? Today’s blog post is about how you can lose trust … quickly! I refer to what I believe may be a fairly common workplace practice, particularly in large organizations, of requiring that employees provide a death certificate or a funeral notice in order to take a few days of (paid) bereavement leave.

I recently received an upset phone call from a long-time reader whose mother passed away in a city on the other side of the country. Not surprisingly, he found himself in a situation where he needed to take several days of leave to attend to funeral and other details. He was offended and quite frankly, hurt, that his long-term employer required him to submit a death certificate or funeral home notice in order for him to take a few days off. Continue reading

Build workplace trust by doing the right thing, even when no one is looking

Lea_BrovedaniRegular readers of the blog know that I often talk about the importance of building workplace trust.  In fact, I last blogged on this subject when I posed the question: How can you build trust in the workplace? (and offered four ideas).  Today I am very fortunate to have Lea Brovedani guesting on the blog.  Not only is she a professional colleague and my friend, but she is also an expert in trust and emotional intelligence!  Her focus is on helping people in organizations implement trust strategies so they can build teams that are trusted by those inside and outside their organizations.  Today she tells us about the 5 C’s of trust.

Consciously and deliberately building trust is important.  Think of it as “show and tell” for grownups but with much bigger consequences than a grade on an elementary school report card. The evaluation you get can affect whether or not people are willing to follow you and how well you succeed in your career.  People will hear what you say but they are watching what you do to make sure the two line up. When it comes to trust, they want you to show them through your actions and behaviours before you tell them to trust you. Continue reading

How can you build trust in the workplace?

TrustLast week I asked the question – is trust in the workplace earned or lost?  Unexpectedly, responses were mixed: I expected the majority to subscribe to my philosophy of “You have my trust unless you prove me otherwise”, but a surprising number of managers still advocate the “Trust should be earned” viewpoint.  These unforeseen results got me thinking about a follow-up question – Okay, in that case, if trust needs to be earned, what can you (as a manager or team leader) do to foster an environment in which your employees can gain your trust?  Here are some quick ideas:

  1. Find points of commonality, either at a professional or a personal level.  Perhaps you and one of your staff members both have a love of travel, or you and one of your employees both graduated from the same university or college; common ground creates conversation starters and forms the foundation on which to build a relationship.  And as relationships grow, so does trust. Continue reading

Is trust in the workplace earned or lost?

TrustRecently, there have been a couple of situations that have occurred that have made me think about trust in the workplace, and how important it is for a strong relationship to exist between leaders and their employees.  When I first started working full-time (back in 1988!), the prevailing sentiment was that “Trust should be earned“.  In other words, if you come to work on my team, then you have to prove yourself, and once you’ve done that, then I, the leader, will trust you.  Turns out that many managers and supervisors (still) subscribe to this point of view.

But over the years, I have grown to take a different approach to building trust.  My philosophy for many years has been “You have my trust unless you prove me otherwise“.  So, my going-in position with all my employees, from day one, is “I trust you”.  And I will only change my mind if you do something that makes me reconsider my opinion and causes me to lose trust in you.  Continue reading