Episode 94.5 – Green Apple Slice


3 Reasons Employee Engagement Is Declining And How Managers Can Improve It


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 an ATD article, “3 Reasons Employee Engagement Is Declining And How Managers Can Improve It” by Victor Lipman.


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    John: Happy Labor Day, everybody! It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices. And I’m here with Rachel Fisch. How are you doing, Rachel?

    Rachel: Good. Having a great long weekend. How about you?

    John: Doing all right. Every weekend is a long weekend for me. I don’t even have a real job. But yes, it’s Labor Day and I’m also excited because we get to hang out in Boston at Accountex.

    Rachel: Yeah. It’s my first Accountex. I haven’t been to one yet. So I’m really excited, yeah.

    John: Yes. It is my first as well. And I just found out about it because you were going. So that’s even better. But yeah, but before we head off to Boston, I thought it’d be good to talk through an article like we do every Monday. And this one was an article I saw in Forbes by Victor Lipman called 3 Reasons Employee Engagement Is Declining And How Managers Can Improve It which kind of focuses on something that’s come up a lot lately of how much pressure is really on managers to make this happen.

    Rachel: Yeah, absolutely does. And so the statistics from the report on TINYpulse, right? The 2017 employee engagement reported and then it’s got percentages. And every time I see that, I’m like, “Oh, they did a survey.”

    John: Right, right.

    Rachel: How else did they get their information? But it is good when you can then take — so I don’t recommend surveys for employee communication, right? If you’re in a company. But for research purposes, this is what surveys are for, absolutely. So lack of employee recognition, it says, only 26% feels strongly valued at work. That is not good.

    John: I mean I know a lot but that is not good. I know that much.

    Rachel: About 26%, yeah. That’s 74% are not feeling strongly valued. Hold on, let me get at my adding machine, yeah. But the thing is is that it honestly does not take a lot of effort or a lot of money or a lot of time to show recognition.

    John: Not at all.

    Rachel: Just say thank you. To commend whether it’s sending an email blast or a personal one on one chat or, “You did a great job. Let’s go for lunch.” It honestly does not take a lot of time to show employees that you value their contributions especially when they’ve had wins, right? We’ve talked about even celebrating small wins. It doesn’t need to be some huge project or some huge client they bring on board. Celebrate the small wins as well and that will give them more energy so that they’ll get the big wins.

    John: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, it’s such a simple thing and really boils down to that green apple message of just showing genuine interest in the people around you. It’s that simple. And you know, because the employee engagement is one of those vague things, everybody wants it. No one knows how to define it. But it’s just figure it out for yourself and for your group. It doesn’t even have to be for the whole company necessarily if that’s not your role.

    Rachel: Right, yeah. If you don’t have control over the whole company, then do what you can in the space that you are for sure.

    John: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. But yeah, and then another one was lack of transparency. I mean the number of employees who feel management is very transparent was also 25%. You are right around that quarter mark which is crazy.

    Rachel: Yeah. And as a member of management, this is one where I’m kind of like, “Yeah, I get that.” Here’s the thing is that managers are going to know things that isn’t always appropriate for staff to know.

    John: Sure.

    Rachel: And so sometimes, it is up to management level and other levels to determine what information gets through to where. The only thing is that if you don’t do that well especially if you aren’t doing other things like you’re not recognizing your employees. It’s kind of this whole shroud of secrecy thing then yeah, it definitely does build this environment of distrust.

    So there will be things — sorry employees. There will be things that you are not going to be able to know just because of the level that you are. However if, you know, you’ve got managers that are throwing that in your face, oh, I shouldn’t be telling you this or I can’t tell you what I just talked about in that meeting, there are ways managers to focus that differently and to make sure that you are being as open as you can with the communication that you’re responsible for.

    John: Well put. Well, that’s very managerial of you the way you said it. I mean that’s wow. That was very good.

    Rachel: Thanks.

    John: And the third one was having disconnection from peers. Only 24% felt strongly connected to their coworkers which was an 11% drop from last year which I mean wow. And only 27% felt that their company was doing a great job with team building. Let me guess, trust falls aren’t going to make it happen.

    Rachel: No. Probably not. So John, do you have any ways that you think that people can connect through their peers? Do you have any insights into that?

    John: Yeah. You know, a couple. One example is this. Scott Duda at Cherry Bekaert in Raleigh North Carolina, he was on the Green Apple Podcast. He’s a managing partner there for the Raleigh office. And they were just named the Triangle’s best places to work by a Triangle Business Journal. And he does such a great job too of just getting out of the office, just taking a minute to go and stop by people and ask them how they’re doing, ask them what they did this weekend. Just show an interest in people and what their hobbies and passions are. Maybe you see a picture or a knickknack or something on their desk that shows a little glimpse of themselves and yeah, just ask them about that and be genuinely interested in it.

    Rachel: Yeah, for sure.

    John: And it’s amazing how much that just creates that connection and whether you feel like someone has that hobby or passion that you do or not, you’ll never going to know unless you share it and you’re going to be surprised how many people are interested in people that are interesting.

    Rachel: Right. And even if you don’t share a passion, the fact that you each have one is something to connect about.

    John: Absolutely, absolutely because I am a terrible singer and you are an amazing singer.

    Rachel: I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m going to have to get you to audition. I’m not sure about this anymore.

    John: We still can be podcast cohosts. Let’s just take it that far, all right?

    Rachel: Okay, okay.

    John: So there you go, everybody. On that happy note, there’s your episode of Green Apple Slices. Happy Labor Day. We’ll see you at Accountex in Boston. Rachel’s presenting. She’s also part of a panel. So wow!

    Rachel: Yeah. I’m really excited about that.

    John: Yeah, it’s going to be so fun. So check it out. You can read the article at greenapplepodcast.com, links to iTunes or your favorite android app and leave us a rating, it would be fantastic. And we’ll see you at Accountex.

    Rachel: See you in Boston!

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