Episode 167.5 – Green Apple Slice


Top Managers Play Key Role in Driving Employee Engagement



The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.

This week, John and Rachel discuss a Financial Express article, “Top Managers Play Key Role in Driving Employee Engagement” by PTI.


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    It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices on this Monday morning, Christmas Eve. I reached out, gave a call to the one and only Accountants & Alliances for Sage Canada, Rachel Fisch.

    Rachel: Hello, John. Merry Christmas.

    John: You’re like on the way to the North Pole. It feels like you’re just in Canada, so that seems like —

    Rachel: I’m already halfway there.

    John: Exactly. I expect to get all the cold. That’s perfect. I don’t know if that’s the thing in Canada but in the US —

    Rachel: So much cold.

    John: Oh, okay, all right.

    Rachel: It is.

    John: I was just trying to fill in the gaps here for everybody. Do you guys have your weird Thanksgiving? I didn’t know if you guys do Make Believe New Year’s on 30th or something.

    Rachel: No. All that stuff’s the same. Just, yeah, until like it’s the President’s Day and then I’m lost. But yeah, nowhere good for Christmas and New Year’s.

    John: That works. But yeah. But we always get together every Monday even though it’s a holiday. Almost a holiday or I guess it’s still a holiday. I don’t know. No one’s working. Effective listening to us is amazing.

    Rachel: We are.

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Rachel: John, this is work every Monday morning.

    John: For one of us, it is. I just got to remember to set my alarm and get up. But yeah, we always talk through an article that we find online. This one was on Financial Express. It was, “Top managers play key role in driving employee engagement, says report.” It seems almost like a Union article, like, “Neighborhood man says…” But there’s a lot of data in here. I thought it was interesting comparing different countries across the world.

    Rachel: Yeah, for sure. We don’t often talk about countries and APAC and elsewhere. But there were definitely some interesting things in this that I thought. One was — actually, I’ve got three. First of all, the whole — I know I said I had two. I actually have three. Bear with me a little bit. First of all, so the whole thing about managers playing a role in engagement isn’t new. We’ve talked about that C-suite directive. It needs to get channeled down to the employees through managers, right? If you’ve got a great C-suite that’s got great visionary things happening and all that lovely stuff, but then you’ve got crappy managers, the employees are not going to feel whatever is happening at the top, right? First of all, it is definitely important to have that point number one. This is just reinforcing that.

    The next was — so basically, the reporter, this part of the survey is talking about, “When an employee has to choose between their manager’s values and their organizational values when it comes to choosing whether to stay employed there or seek opportunities elsewhere, which do they choose?” It was really interesting to see in some cases. They broke it down a little bit by country. In India, for example, that was 64% of respondents who were saying that they would go align themselves with their manager’s values over the organization’s values, which I thought was really interesting. Other countries have different percentages, down to Australia at 49% and New Zealand at 40%, which was actually the lowest of the countries listed here. But what struck me — first of all, it was overwhelmingly positive or at least that they would follow their manager as opposed to stay with the organization. But to me, as an organization, that’s why it’s that much more important to make sure that your manager’s values are aligned to the organizational values.

    John: Yeah. I mean it’s probably going to end up poorly for you as an organization.

    Rachel: Right. Well, clearly, as we can see in all of these other places that it will not go well, right? Then the next thing that I thought was really interesting when it was talking about the different industries. The percentages that were ranked the highest were employees in the banking and financial services. Legal and high tech and IT industries placed the greatest emphasis on the values of its managers. I thought that was really odd because these are black and whites industries where — it’s right or wrong — there aren’t a lot of humanities. These aren’t humanities careers, right? These aren’t touchy, feely or these aren’t nonprofits where I would expect more by-end on the value side of things. These were actually high-tech finance and banking careers. I thought that that was a little bit of a disconnect.

    John: No, it is. It is definitely interesting. Because, yeah, you would think that people with these degrees and certifications, they hang their head on their expertise. The “soft skills” aren’t necessarily valued highly. But we come to find out they should be because the people are looking up to that even more than ever. Maybe that’s the reason why. It’s because they’re so starved for that to come from somewhere that their manager, their direct rapport has the biggest impact on that.

    Rachel: Ooh.

    John: Right. Well, there’s your Christmas friend.

    Rachel: Maybe. That’s a good hypothesis there, John.

    John: You’re welcome, everybody. I also could be totally wrong. All of this shows that no matter where you are in the world, the human side of all of us is very, very important. Especially if you’re an organization that wants to drive that message in your culture, then you have to have your managers be aligned with that or else, your people are not going to get that or they’re not going to follow.

    That’s the overall. You have a great Christmas with your family. Yeah. We’ll be back next Monday when it’s New Year’s Eve. But we’ll do it in the morning so everything makes sense.

    Rachel: Sounds good.

    John: All right. Talk to you later.

    Rachel: You too, John. Merry Christmas.

    John: All right. Merry Christmas.

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