Guest Column - July/August 2015

The Importance of Ownership

Micromanaging Is Running Employees Out the Door

By Paul Gordon


Employee engagement has made a positive impact on the corporate environment, transforming the common perception of the traditional office culture. More and more companies are exploring creative outlets of engagement, from travel incentives and niche rewards to physical office renovations and flexible work schedules.

Employees feel highly motivated when they have a sense of ownership within the company. Knowing that their contributions are positively impacting the bottom line reassures these employees that their hard work is both beneficial and meaningful.

As the creative and liberating office culture continues to grow in popularity amongst today's workforce, leaders need to begin rethinking their engagement and management methods in order to appeal to their employees' needs and attract new hires.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings, as well as employee turnover rates, are increasing. In the recent "Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey," 2.8 million employees quit their jobs—the highest level since April 2008.

People are seeking the more untraditional, freeing and engaging work environments that are becoming increasingly prominent in our society. Therefore, in order to keep your current work staff from becoming another labor turnover statistic, focusing on unique and attractive methods of engagement is more important than ever.

Employees who are unsatisfied with their managers and leaders are more disengaged, causing them to produce negative work habits. When productivity and performance decreases, so does engagement. In most cases, when this happens, management tends to feel the need to hover over employees, rather than find an appropriate and meaningful solution.

In a study conducted by Aon Hewitt, 33 percent of employees are engaged, but not enabled, labeling themselves as "frustrated engaged employees." These passive employees fluctuate between engaged and unengaged either daily, monthly or yearly. If no positive solution is implemented, they are more likely to leave their company in the hopes of finding a more welcoming office culture. Many employers, instead of finding more effective ways to engage these employees, take the concept of enabling employees too far and end up micromanaging their staff members right out the door.

Micromanaging is highly ineffective, as it is not an applicable solution to fixing the problem of unengaged employees. Employees do not want to feel as if they are being monitored every minute by management. This only results in unnecessary stress, damaging the trusting relationship between management and staff and leading staff members to not see themselves as long-term employees with the company.

When management and leaders enable employees through productive and encouraging motivation, they are able to capitalize on their employees' needs for an engaging and enabling work environment.

Employees feel highly motivated when they have a sense of ownership within the company. Knowing that their contributions are positively impacting the bottom line reassures these employees that their hard work is both beneficial and meaningful.

Effective engagement starts with leadership, which sustains business and retains employees. For any business, it is vital to have leaders who exemplify instinctive, unquestioning confidence in their team members in order to execute positive progression and promote engagement.

As employee retention becomes more competitive and the rate of employees leaving their jobs increases, the need for a positive change in the office culture is becoming more apparent. A bit of liberating ownership can go a long way toward enhancing employee engagement, but it needs to be performed positively in order to not be misunderstood for micromanagement. Properly enabling your employees builds trust and gives more meaning to their work, increasing their engagement and connection with the company.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Gordon is Senior Vice President of Sales at Rymax Marketing Services, a full-service loyalty marketing provider in the incentive industry solely focused on creating programs and events to drive ROI through brand name rewards. For 20 years organizations partnered with Rymax have seen an increase in employee performance and retention, customer loyalty and overall revenue. For more information, visit www.rymaxinc.com.