They simply show up to work prepared to do the minimum to get by. Whereas engaged employees challenge those around them to do more and better, disengaged employees demoralize the productive employees with their lack of passion and intensity. The question for business leaders like you is simple: How do you turn disengaged employees into engaged and eager contributors? The answer is simple. Engaged Leadership.
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In reviewing his book, Swindall creates the fable for illustrations and provides a step-by-step process to show how to engage employees. This provides readers with two opportunities to comprehend and reinforce employee engagement. Swindall emphasizes that more than 70 percent of employees fail to connect to their workplace. In targeting these disengaged workers, Swindall notes that these were not "bad people," but they perfunctorily engaged in routine cycle of coming to work to collect a paycheck.
Although "bad people" lacked a precise definition, it could be implied that these disengaged employees did not abuse work time on personal matters or frequently called in sick because of their ennui. Nevertheless, the survey indicates that these employees, representing the overwhelming majority of the workforce, lacked motivation in their jobs. Tuttle emphasizes in his recent Time Moneyland article that workers are frustrated with their bosses and not engaged in their jobs, but are staying because of the poor economy.
Swindall believes that the poor economy elevates a fight for financial survival, but does not create employee engagement. At the very least, Tuttle, however, provides validity to the issue of causation of employee engagement. Critiquing Engaged Leadership in relationship to leadership theories espoused by Bernard Bass arguably one of the leading authorities on leadership theories , the question rises as to whether this book constitutes a new concept or evolves from existing leadership theories.
Leaders, who represent their respective companies to their employees, possess the unique and often underused powers to connect employees to their organizations in a meaningful manner to achieve organizational success and an engaged workforce.
Leaders fail to engage employees because they are distracted managing the day-to-day affairs and not investing sufficient time in engaging their teams. In some instances, the managing of daily tasks utilizes Smartphones and other technologies as indirect tools of communication as opposed to the more humanistic and engaging face-to-face form of communication, thus thwarting an opportunity to directly engage the employees. This suggests that leaders prioritize the management of the workforce over leadership, obfuscating the connection of employee engagement to organizational success.
Using the fable as a teachable moment, Swindall portrays engaged leadership through Halfiax, a large call center company. Swindall identifies directional leadership, motivational leadership, organizational leadership, and character core as the key components in building employee engagement.
With respect to the first element, the leader must acquire continuing support from the engaged employees not only to mold the direction of the company but to ensure that they do not join the ranks of the disengaged employees and possibly further destroying the company culture. This attribute is deemed paramount in exercising directional leadership.
Bass, author of The Bass Handbook of Leadership, concurs with Swindall, but views directional leadership as vision. Both require leaders to engage their employees in a steadfast, meaningful way to secure such support and increase productivity. Cleary, the "carrot versus the stick approach" reinforces the virtues of positive motivation. Instead of waiting until the goal is accomplished, Swindall challenges leaders to identify milestones and then celebrate the success of these small, yet significant accomplishments in the pursuit to achieve company objectives.
Finally, leaders create an equitable work environment by consistently bestowing rewards for superior performance and applying negative consequences for shoddy performance. Simply speaking, inspirational leaders motivated their employees to believe and achieve the impossible.
This seemed strikingly similar to what Swindall calls motivational leadership. Organizational Leadership Swindall articulates the four components of organizational leadership as follows: 1 identifying and positioning the appropriate talent; 2 building an intergenerational bridge; 3 moving toward real empowerment; and 4 establishing a strategy to maintain success.
Organizational leadership focuses on utilizing the skills, talents, and resources held by employees. They leave bosses" Swindall, p. It is imperative that leaders learn the DNA of their personnel in order to deploy them correctly, keep them committed, and retain them. This reiterates the demand for leaders to lead, thereby cultivating a meaningful relationship with their employees, rather than merely manage.
Bass opines that leaders generate the mechanisms for cultural embedding and reinforcement. Employees look to leaders to understand and reflect organizational objectives. Leaders must generate employee empowerment rather than micromanage.
Leaders undermine the collective workforce when derelict behavior is overlooked and promising performance is not rewarded. Leaders compromise their integrity when they arbitrarily reward instead of treating everyone respectfully.
Character Core Character core represents the central ingredient binding directional, motivational, and organizational leadership. Character core validates engaged leadership. Any known character flaw, either professional or personal, can compromise the ability for any leader to engage their employees.
In assessing the character flaws of elected officials, former U. Representative Anthony Weiner finally recognized the importance of character core when he resigned from office for sending inappropriate pictures of himself.
Former U. Senator John Ensign and Governors Mark Sanford and Elliott Spitzer lost credibility for having extramarital affairs while in office and all ultimately resigned.
Pastors have left their congregations due to criminal and sexual misconduct. Despite the tired and cyclical excuse of these activities being personal in nature, followers often fail to separate personal and professional integrity.
Bass maintains that principled leaders receive more favorable reviews from employees than leaders who were deemed ethically-neutral. Employees enjoy working for leaders whose ethics were clearly understood and communicated.
They are not looking for leaders who were "politically correct," but rather ethically sound. Bass stresses the importance of ethical leadership, but Swindall appears to give it more credence by labeling it as character core, even though both terms appear synonymous. Conclusion Swindall best communicates the connecting dynamics of a work environment when he enshrouds the applications of engaged leadership in a fable.
He devises a story that enables readers to identify with the characters and problems in the workplace. Readers notice their bosses or co-workers in the fable. They are also able to identify with the following situations of non-engagement: lack of direction in the organization, failure to recognize employee contributions, and showing bias to certain personnel. However, Swindall was quite silent in connecting engaged leadership to a specific type of leadership theory to provide the opportunity for the reader to research and delve into a deeper study of this subject.
This was evident in the missed opportunities to properly identify the quoted Gallop survey of employee disengagement and to reference any poll which attempts to ascertain any cost savings associated with engaged leadership. In closing, Engaged Leadership could have done a better job of connecting its components directional leadership, motivational leadership, organizational leadership, and character core to existing scholarly work, e.
Bernard Bass. Although Swindall enables an easy read, Engaged Leadership does not provide a revolutionary concept. In actuality, this book evolves from existing leadership theories identified by Bass in his book, The Bass Handbook of Leadership. References Bass, B. The Bass Handbook of Leadership. Swindall, C. Engaged Leadership. Tuttle, B. Time Moneyland. Serving in public administration for nearly 18 years, he directs the Contact Center for the Michigan Department of Human Services.
Woods holds a B.
Engaged Leadership : Building a Culture to Overcome Employee Disengagement