October 2019
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October 2019
TD Magazine

Engaged or Enraged?

Friday, October 4, 2019

A lack of purpose impedes managers' workplace motivation.

Talented people join and remain with companies where they feel engaged and motivated. Managers can improve the ongoing engagement process by having regular performance-related coaching and feedback conversations with their team members, as well as conversations that focus both on personal skill and career development. Gallup's State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders shows that managers account for 70 percent of the variance in engagement among employees.


Unfortunately, managers can't play the role they need to if they lack a sense of purpose. According to the Betterworks report Managers Say Talent Management "Needs Improvement," only 41 percent of managers said that all the people at their organization have a clear understanding of the company's mission and vision, and 62 percent of managers do not have a clear understanding of the top company priorities over the next 12 months. There's a red flag.

The report indicates that companies must do more than simply communicate their top goals across all levels of the organization (which only 40 percent of respondent managers said is occurring). Employees also must see how their work goals link with organizational goals and how what they do interconnects with what their colleagues across the business are working on. In addition to transparent alignment, companies must also frequently and openly communicate the cross-functional progress toward these top company goals. This transparency increases accountability and facilitates necessary collaboration.

Managers also don't always think that the C-suite places enough value on well-being. In fact, almost 60 percent of survey respondents do not agree that their company actively values employee well-being. Only 37 percent believe their business has the right technology in place so everyone feels productive, and just 30 percent agree that employees generally do not feel overworked at their company.

Employers not valuing their employees is the easiest way to send talent out the door—and if undervalued staff do stay, they likely are being unproductive.

About the Author

Stephen Newman is a former writer/editor for ATD.

1 Comment
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Excellent Article for future discussions!
What do you propose for resolutions, Stephen?
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