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Engaging Your Employees

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A common tenet of the hiring world is that employees leave managers, not jobs.

Gallup estimates that American employers lose between 450 and 550 million dollars per year in lost productivity from disengaged workers. That number is easy to accept with 70% of employees not engaged in the workplace. But how can management get workers actively engaged and ultimately more productive?

Imagine for a moment, a young startup, complete with the young startup repertoire. Millenials managing millenials, kitchen stocked with healthy options, and a calendar of events outside the office replete with team building options. This picture is one of youthful energy and purpose. Where could it go wrong?

The project manager is 28. She’s managed a few projects at a previous job and has great ideas. She’s willing to take the early train in and will shut the lights off on her way out. She wants to prove herself. The five new people on her team have each been prepped on their roles throughout the interview process and are excited to get rolling.

This project manager starts filling up the calendars of her team with important tasks. First she books a conference room for daily team stand-ups and individual afternoon check-ins. She grabs space for onboarding exercises and organizes team lunches. She gets access to project tracking software and begins the process of training her team on the protocol for logging all of their work. She can view and access their documents remotely to check progress and offer edits. She can hear the efficiency being proclaimed in meetings with her boss’s bosses. But then everything falls apart. Her team becomes bitter, feels micromanaged and undermined, loses productivity and sees some team members leave for greener pastures.

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