18% are actively disengaged
67% are not engaged or are indifferent to your organization
And their suggested fix for this disengagement is threefold…
- Audit your current performance management system…
- Train your managers to have effective performance development conversations.
- Build a scientific system to make the right decisions about who becomes a manager.
Being a recovering engineer, I get a little warm inside when I hear phrases like “performance management system” and “build a scientific system”.
But, being a human being that’s had the pleasure of managing other human beings, I’m not sure I agree with their advice. I hear this conversation in my head.
“Our people feel disengaged, what should we do?”
“Let’s try more systems and measurement.”
Sounds a little impersonal and tone deaf, doesn’t it? I’ve never met a disengaged employee who told me their main gripe was a performance management system that wasn’t scientific enough.
On the other hand, I have heard employees say…
“I work for a company that doesn’t give a damn about me.”
“All the owner cares about is putting money in his pocket.”
“I’m just a replaceable cog in the machine”.
Bottom line, if a whole bunch of your employees feel the same way - disengaged - it reflects on the business owner. You either suck at hiring, suck at managing, or maybe you really don’t care about them. Either way, you're the common denominator and you have to address the problem.
WHAT’S THE FIX?
The fix is pretty simple. Ownership has to sincerely care about the employees, and that caring has to shine through in their daily interactions.
And yes, that's hard to do. Especially when you’re fighting to keep the place above water, and those doggone employees are misinterpreting your intentions, and they just don’t understand how much you really care.
I hear you, but that’s what you signed up for when you hung up your shingle. Your most important job is behaving in such a way that your employees know, for sure, that you care. That you're invested in helping each and every one of them grow each and every day. That’s the only way I know to run a high-growth business that you won’t eventually come to hate.
And I promise I’m not anti-rules, anti-process, anti-systems - but I do believe all of those things are over-prescribed. They remind me of expensive pills that people take to half-ass fix their ailments that could be better corrected with diet and exercise.
Really caring about the growth of your employees is diet and exercise.
It’s the all-natural answer to your engagement challenge, and it avoids the nasty impersonal side effects that come with those magic pills / systems.