The biggest problem that’s destroying your organization’s bottom line

29 January 2014
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This morning I attended a short workshop that was designed to instruct business professionals how to engage with their employees to create a stronger work environment.

We watched a short video detailing the daily working lives of employees at Google. They highlighted the organizations diversity, support of individual ideas, creativity and dining establishments. The video was designed to emphasize just how awesome it was to work at Google!

medium_3358153294 copyAfter the video, we discussed ways in which we can instruct our organizations to develop more of a hands on approach to employee engagement. We covered the emotional power that is unleashed when acknowledging someone for their hard work, the importance of listening when a team member has a concern or new idea and the seemingly revolutionary idea of treating people like people.

I know…you’d think most businesses would already be treating their employees with respect, but based on some of the examples shared within in the audience, this newly adopted practice does seem to be part of a true revolution!

At one point the audience was asked to choose one out of three factors which they felt most strongly affected the workplace and the levels of effort put forth by its employees. The choices were:

  1. Supervisor
  2. Senior Leadership
  3. Pride in your work

I selected number three, having pride in your work. But as the results poured in, it was obvious that the relationship one has with their direct supervisor drastically outweighs the other two choices when determining how productive one will be at their job.

This had me floored!

I was in the military for over a decade and worked for over a dozen different supervisors. Some were great, and some were a virus. So I understand the impact they can have, but I would have thought that having pride in your work would be a larger contributor to your overall success.

As the group started sharing horror stories about past supervisors, I began to realize that there’s an underlying issue we’ve failed to acknowledge in this process. With so many bad supervisors out there destroying the professional lives of their subordinates, maybe the question we should be asking is…

Who the HELL is making these people supervisors?!!

Someone, somewhere had to make the decision that these individuals had what it takes to manage and supervise other human beings. They saw them has catalysts to a stronger work force, and possessing the abilities to lead others toward a common goal.

But herein lies the real problem. It may not be that you are bad at employee engagement, it may be that some of your senior leaders have a really shitty eye for talent!

Now I know that there are other variables here that contribute to a person becoming a worthless leader, but if you really want your business to succeed, you have to make sure that when it comes to appointing someone to act as a supervisor, that they have the necessary tools to perform their newly requested duties. That would seem like common sense, but based on what I overheard this morning, it sounds like putting the wrong guy or girl in a position of authority is becoming an epidemic in our society and work place.

In closing, yes it’s important to engage your employees, yes we need to make sure they feel that their opinion is openly accepted and that they’re free to submit new ideas, but for the love of all that is holy, if a person is not cut out to lead others, then please do not make them a leader.

I sat in a room of roughly fifty people this morning. And if they say their supervisor sucks, it may be time for you to listen.

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P.S. For more inspiration on leader ship click here ——-> The Top 10 Characteristics That Make Up A Strong Leader

photo credit: smileham via photopin cc

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