Jake’s Take: How Bad Managers Bungle Employee Engagement

Why do people leave your employ? Why do they think about it? Various estimates indicate that somewhere between 60-70 percent of employees are not personally invested in their workplace. What does it take to engage people so that work is exciting, not a chore?

According to a June 2011 article in Inc., most people leave their jobs because they are dissatisfied with their supervisors. Having good managers is obviously an important component then, if you want to keep your people. Even good managers can make bad decisions though, or not have the tools to help their employees feel appreciated, engaged, and growing. Employee engagement suffers when managers aren’t engaged in knowing the people who work for them.

If you want your employees to look elsewhere, here are the top ways for even decent managers to bungle:

First, assume that what motivates you is what motivates your employees. While you may like to stretch, your employee may want training and support to feel competent on the job. This goes right along with not making the time to get to know your employees or to listen to them. Employees who feel that they are just a number or a nonentity to upper management are more likely to be dissatisfied.

Another great way to bungle is to fail at effective hiring. Having the right person in the right job makes employee engagement easier from the start. When your employee is working within the company at a job that’s the right fit, work is more satisfying. Not doing due diligence, not using the right criteria, and not attracting the right candidates will make it more difficult to engage the ones you do hire.

Be competitive instead of cooperative. This is a great way to discourage people from getting engaged and working together. An atmosphere of goodwill, transparency and positive feedback is essential. Skip on that, and the feeling of scarcity will make your employees contract, disengage, and update their resumes.

If you really want to upset people, overlook talent that is right under your nose. Your employees have many talents that may not have been revealed to you. Before you hire someone outside to do something that contributes to your business, have you looked into your own talent pool? Your talent strategy must include being aware of who you already have that has something to contribute. If not, you’ve missed an opportunity.

These are just a few of the more glaring ways that unconscious supervisors can undermine employee engagement. Managers who make the first move towards understanding and engaging their own employees will not make these mistakes.

If you are a manager who is unwittingly bungling, you might consider getting some executive coaching from keenhire to make the most of your own talents.

contributed by Jake; ghostwritten by Elizabeth Danu