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The Death of a Company: Disengaged Workers

The Death of a Company: Disengaged Workers

How do you kill a company? Make sure your employees are not engaged in the business.

Employee engagement is essential when creating a successful organization.  Engaged employees devote their full energies and enthusiasm to the company’s mission.  The path to winning over an employee’s head, hands and heart requires leaders to eliminate certain sources of interference.  Creating a pleasant work culture with minimal management and environmental interference is the key to organizational success.

Workplace interference can be quite costly if not properly addressed.

The following issues are examples of workplace I-N-T-E-R-F-E-R-E-N-C-E that destroys employee engagement:

I – Incivility: There is never an excuse for a supervisor to treat subordinates with disdain or in a rude manner.  A rude demeanor spreads like wildfire throughout the workplace.  If the company’s top leader possesses a rude disposition, those closest to him/her will likely follow their example.  Incivility from the top has a trickle down effect and will infect the rest of the company over time.

N – Negativity: People perform better in positive work environments. Negative people and attitudes will drain the energy right out of you.  An eight hour day feels like 24 hours in a negative environment.  Companies should part ways with negative people, even if they are technically competent or politically connected.

T – Tempers: Check your temper at the door, along with cursing, berating and bullying fellow employees.  Throwing childish temper tantrums is extremely harmful to employee engagement. When the boss has a temper, people will be on edge and unable to perform their best.

E – Egos. Egomania is likely one of the biggest expenditures in modern business.  If a leader or team member possesses an inflated ego, people typically waste time dancing around their delicate and numerous sensitivities. Egos waste time, resources and prevent the utilization of the entire team’s brain power.  Check your ego at the door before employees and customers run for the exits.

R – Resources: It is difficult to perform when one lacks necessary resources.  Although companies should monitor expenses closely, your people need training, education, technology, continual feedback and other professional resources that assist in getting the job done.  When a leader denies needed training, employees receive a message they are not important.

F – Fear: If employees have observed a coworker get in trouble or reprimanded for taking a worthwhile risk in their quest to do a good job, this causes qualified employees to shrink back from future challenges.  Innovation and risk-taking are essential to building a great company.

E – Elitism: Creating a select group of elite company personalities is harmful to the company’s culture. The presence of elitism is bad news. To perform at their very best, employees want to know they are part of a consolidated team effort.  When managers and executives receive special treatment, the shadow of elitism will make employee engagement unobtainable.

R – Restricted Communication: When there is restricted communication, trouble is around the corner.  If employees are in the dark concerning the latest company news and information, employees will not perform at their best level.  Communication is like oxygen; without it engaged employees will not survive.  Employees need to know the latest details about their company, department and individual position. When communication is non-existent, employees will make-up answers to their own questions.

E – Emergencies: I once worked for a supervisor who made every assignment a top priority.  Daily fire drills were commonplace.  When leaders constantly require employees to jump through hoops with unrealistic or unnecessary deadlines, employees will perform the work but mentally unplug.  Effective leaders assign top priority designation only to the most important and deserving projects.

N – Narcissism: Highly paid executives are susceptible to this psychological dysfunction.  When leaders acquire wealth, they begin thinking they are worthy to be worshiped and require special treatment.  As a result, coworkers and subordinates may be seen as threats to their throne rather than team members.

C – Care: A top concern of employees is this: Does my supervisor sincerely care for me as a person?  Showing sincere care and concern for your people will fuel employee engagement.  Trust and engagement will dramatically improve with a caring environment.

E – Equality: All employees should be treated equally.  Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their performance or personal background.  Employees take great comfort in knowing they are accepted and appreciated, regardless of their differences.

Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.


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