Engagment Drivers #2- What is Valued?

Engagment Drivers #2- What is Valued?

Our prior article What Drives Engagement? listed the top 10 engagement drivers.

Two areas impact employee perceptions of what the organization values (category 2):

#1. “(My boss) sets high personal standards”

  • Share what excellence and success looks like in their job (do you have any key performance indicators to discuss/ share/ track?)
  • Hold everyone accountable to do their job to expectations (including yourself- walk the walk)

#2. “Organization encourages innovative thinking”

  • Listen to new ideas and process suggestions, thoughtfully consider and discuss the viability of the idea

Three steps you can take NOW to improve employee perceptions of work standards and innovation:

  1. Regularly discuss work load and priorities, find out if team members have the tools and information to complete their tasks, and invite updates to re-direct if things aren’t on track
  2. Manage by results, not micromanage the process—this allows your team member to come up with a different (and often better) way to achieve the same outcome, then occasionally have staff share their methods with others doing the same task
  3. Ask your team- “What is one thing that could be improved for better customer service or to reduce a big hassle?” Then outline an action plan, assign tasks with deadlines, and revisit at your weekly meeting to implement this innovative improvement

Two articles for more reading:

It’s a fine line between setting high standards and being demanding. Read what NOT to do on Forbes: 10 tips on for dealing with an overly demanding boss

For tips on getting more practice at innovative thinking and turning into a habit, read “Innovation Is Everyone’s Job” on Harvard Business Review

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What Managers Think Employees Want

What Managers Think Employees Want

In a study by the Labor Relations Institute of NY, managers selected what they thought employees valued most, and then asked employees what they valued:

Manager /Employee rank- Job Reward      

  • 1/ 5- Good wages
  • 2/ 4- Job security
  • 3/ 8- Promotion and growth
  • 4/ 9- Good working conditions
  • 5/ 6- Interesting work
  • 6/ 7- Personal loyalty to workers
  • 7/10- Tactful discipline
  • 8/ 1- Appreciation for work done
  • 9/ 3- Sympathetic help with personal problems
  • 10/2- Feeling “in” on things

You can see that the TOP 3 for employees were listed as the BOTTOM 3 in the eyes of managers. Hmm.. I wonder how much time and effort these managers put into these “bottom” rewards if they consider such each a low priority?

As a specialist in compensation, we regularly visit prospective clients who are convinced that their organization needs to pay more to attract, retain and motivate their team members. (And some of them do indeed have issues with pay below the market or internally inequitable.)

However, if your pay is fair for the work you expect and compared to others in your organization, one of the best investments you can make in building a terrific team is with recognition.

Recognition is practically free and creates an immediate impact such as:

  • reinforcing company values
  • aligning employee efforts to achieve organizational results
  • appreciating specific employee efforts (then they continue to do these)
  • modeling what ABC- attitudes, behaviors and contributions are valued (others start doing these)
  • creating a positive work environment and culture (as more employees demonstrate the desired ABC’s and are recognized for them)

(Manager Survey Source: Foreman Facts, Labor Relations Institute of NY, 2004)

For a Quick recognition template view our 4/23 blog post

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Does your manager have the competencies to be one?

Does your manager have the competencies to be one?

You have rewarded your best supervisor with a promotion to manager.

She is the one person you could rely on to put out the fire, lead the charge on an install, and to get stuff done. Now you granted her the authority to lead the team and changed her role so now she has the time to “be a manager.”

But for some reason, she is not transforming the department as you expected.

You ask yourself, why does she:

  • Continue to react to problems instead of implementing process improvement
  • Work at the level of tactics and today’s work instead of thinking more strategically
  • Struggle with holding team members accountable
  • Spend more time than you expect in the field/ warehouse/  or “wandering around”
  • Fail to implement those projects that have been on your wish list for months or years

Your star supervisor may have the competencies to be a manager, or may need business systems and coaching to develop these skill sets.

Here is a short list of common competencies that both supervisors and managers should have:

  • Decisive Judgment
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Driving for Results
  • Managing Others
  • Coaching and Developing Others

Supervisors and managers also approach their work at different levels knowledge, methods, time horizon and involvement with process:





Adapting to Change

Championing Change


Motivating Others

Relationship Management


Functional or Technical Acumen

Business Acumen

 Time Frame

3-12 months

1-2 years (general managers 2-5 years)

 Systems/ process

Follow and support systems

Create, monitor, improve systems

If this situation sounds familiar, take a moment and rate your manager on the level of competence for each of these skills to answer the question “is she a supervisor or a manager?” Her development plan would then be designed to improve in these key areas.

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