The Enemy of Engagement: Put an End to Workplace Frustration--and Get the Most from Your Employees
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(5 customer reviews)
There are a lot of frustrated people in most workplaces today. WeÆre not talking about the incorrigible office grump or the permanent slacker. Instead, weÆre referring to dedicated workers who are being prevented from achieving their peak potential by organizational obstacles. Better enabling these employees to succeed represents an untapped avenue for radically improving productivity. Packed with the latest research findings from the prestigious Hay Group, The Enemy of Engagement uncovers the hidden impediments to performanceùexcessive procedures, lack of resources, overly narrow roles, and moreùand outlines best-practice solutions for eliminating them. This is not an insignificant issue facing businesses today. According to Hay GroupÆs study, depending on the industry, between one-third and one-half of employees report work conditions that keep them from being as productive as they could be. The Enemy of Engagement gives managers powerful new insights and research-based tools for ensuring their teams are both willing and able to make maximum contributions.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #105930 in eBooks
- Published on: 2011-10-28
- Released on: 2011-10-28
- Format: Kindle eBook
- Number of items: 1
About the Author
MARK ROYAL and TOM AGNEW are leaders in Hay Group's employee research division. Mark holds Ph.D. and MA degrees in sociology from Stanford University, and Tom received his Ph.D. in management from Vanderbilt University and MBA from the University of Saskatchewan.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Frustration: The Silent Killer
The Bernette financial call center culture is the envy of the industry. Turnover is low. Nearly every employee believes in the mission: They're helping people buy homes, helping businesses serve their communities, and helping families achieve their dreams. Customer surveys invariably show that Bernette customers are overall "very satisfied" with the help they get when they call or e-mail. Questions get answered. Problems get resolved. Customer service representatives are viewed as helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. By and large, Bernette call center employees are engaged and committed to the success of the organization. But is engagement enough? Let's look at the situations faced by the employees we've met so far. Lauren made her mark on the call center by figuring out a better way to forecast scheduling needs. She is self-motivated to be efficient and effective. Solving a vexing problem is its own reward for her. She wants to work in a challenging environment that allows her to continue to be successful. If her current employer doesn't offer one, she is confident that another employer will.
Lauren's boss, Beth, recently witnessed the departure of a long-term, highly valued executive at the bank. And she knows she might lose another valuable employee, Lauren, unless she can open up the flow of information and get the resources that Lauren and her direct reports need so that they can continue to do their jobs well. Beth is also grappling with the situation faced by Bob, the customer service rep with the highest customer satisfaction ratings but the slowest completion rate. She is having trouble getting approval to transfer Bob to the marketing department, where he'll be a better fit and continue to make a valuable contribution to Bernette. Stacy is a long-term Bernette employee who is struggling with scheduling issues. She isn't getting the information she needs from Lauren so that she can schedule reps for optimum results.
And Bob is in a job that doesn't make the best use of his capabilities. All these employees are motivated and want to succeed. They all have a high regard for the bank's leaders and believe in the bank's mission. They want to "do more with less" just as they are being asked to do. But due to constraints in the work environment, they can't, and that has them feeling frustrated. This isn't a case of temperamental, indifferent, or intellectually challenged management. Bernette has a well-earned reputation for being a great place to work. Its executives are known as competent and caring individuals. But the organization, like many today, is undergoing change. It's growing, organically and through acquisition, and its senior leaders are focused on managing expenditures at a time when the bank's costs are increasing faster than its revenues. As popular as they are with call center employees, the bank's senior executives might not sense the frustration of the reps who can't do their jobs without the right tools, or of the supervisors who can't manage the call center as effectively as they once did.
The irony here is that the more loyal and engaged employees are, the deeper their frustration will run in the face of obstacles. Simply put, they are frustrated because they care. This book is focused on employees who are engaged, motivated, and loyal—who aren't ready to give up—but who are experiencing frustration on the job.
Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
Why Engagement Efforts Often Fail
By John Chancellor
Unless you have been complete away from the workplace for a number of years you are well aware that the old command and control style of management no longer works. Methods and tactics to get employees fully engaged in their work - as opposed to simply complying - have been the recent buzz of most employee improvement programs. Unfortunately they often fall short of their goal.
Mark Royal and Tom Agnew have written a very engaging book The Enemy of Engagement. Mark and Tom are leaders in the Hay Group's employee research division and have drawn on their vast experience to present a compelling case for what employers must do in addition to getting employees fully engaged.
The most often case is where employees are fully engaged, they like their work and their employer but are frustrated in trying to do their job. They lack adequate training, are held back by inefficient processes, are unclear about the key tasks to accomplish or are uncertain they have the authority to do/change certain things. In short, far too many employees are frustrated in trying to do their job and management is totally unaware of or turning a blind eye to their frustration.
Frustration will eventually lead to employees seeking other employment or disengaging - becoming compliant. Neither will give the company the results it wants or needs.
The book is well written and has a unique approach to getting the message across. The authors alternate with theory and a fictional case study. The case study actually brings the concepts to life. It shows in no uncertain terms what happens when employees are frustrated. They leave, they disengage and the company suffers.
One of the major culprits of frustration is poor communication. While most companies think they are communicating, one way conversations are simply not enough. Management must learn to listen to the frustration of the workers. Most workers want to do a good job. As humans most are hard wired to seek mastery of what we do. But when we are lacking the tools necessary, frustration sets in and eventually we give up.
The alternative theory chapters gives a good discussion of the principles involved in identifying and solving frustrations facing employees. There are some very specific questions managers need to ask themselves in order to combat the enemy of engagement.
You may believe that all your employees are fully engaged and this could not happen in your office/workplace. But from the examples in the book and the real world experiences the authors talk about, frustrated employees are more the rule than the exception.
This should be on the reading list of all managers. There is some very valuable information which will improve employee engagement by eliminating or reducing employee frustration.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
Ideas for raising performance when resources are limited
By Stephen Bashall
This is that rare thing, a genuinely useful business book that tells us something new. Namely that all the time, money and effort businesses spend measuring and boosting employee motivation is wasted if we dont follow through and make sure people can actually get their jobs done. The Enemy of Engagement clearly explains the concept of "workplace frustration" and sets out some straightforward ways of dealing with it.
The book illustrates its central idea with a fictional scenario that narrates the story. The authors have clearly gone to a lot of trouble to create the history of Bernette Bank and the very believable characters that work in its online banking division. This storytelling is a powerful, credible way of showing what workplace frustration does to companies and what they can do to prevent it.
The Enemy of Engagement is timely as well. The Bernette story shows that just telling employees to "do more with less" -- which is what were all being asked to do right now -- is not enough. It suggests instead that businesses can get more performance out of their people without the need to spend more money or have people work long hours. Theres plenty of practical advice on how to achieve this -- and for skeptical managers, plenty of statistics from Hay Group studies that show the value of tackling workplace frustration head-on.
At 228 pages its a quick read (four hours max) that gives businesses something that's very welcome in the current climate -- ideas for raising performance when resources are limited.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
The Ally of Productivity - Engagement + Enablement
With so much being written about engagement these days, this book provides refreshing detail about how you go about getting it. Too many people are citing statistics from Gallup or BlessingWhite without providing a roadmap, and apparently engagement is a mystery to some. This book helps clear the air.