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the book & the blog by Rodd Wagner

The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If
They're Real People

Quiet Praise to Keep Employees Captive?

There are a lot of dumb ideas about employee engagement floating around out there. Most are not worth mentioning. This one is just dumb enough I feel compelled to share it. I’ll leave out which company cooked it up so they can destroy whatever copies they have left.

Here’s the passage that caught my attention:

Let’s follow the logic:

“I’d like to recognize you for your great work, but I’m just going to do it internally, because I don’t want someone finding out how good you are and coming to you with what might be a better job. After all, it’s not really about what you want; it’s about what I want from you.”

One of the best gauges of whether an engagement strategy is sound is whether you could share it with a straight face with your employees. Anyone who thought the document excerpted here was part of his manager’s playbook would get out as soon as she could. As she should.

10 Reasons Not to Do an Employee Survey

In November, I awakened one morning and started tweeting five top reasons not to do an employee survey. Before I’d finished my orange juice, the list grew to 10. Each could come back to bite you.

It’s not a bad checklist to decide whether an employee survey is worth the investment or whether it’s best to work on other areas first. If more than six or seven of these are currently true for your company, save your money or set up your survey differently.

10. Your survey provider’s executive briefing looks suspiciously like the last client’s presentation.
9. Your firm’s results will go into the survey company’s “database” to help advise your competition.
8. Your execs and managers will use the info to hunt down the so-called “disengaged” and fire them.
7. The survey will be open for two weeks, then closed for 11-and-a-half months.
6. After answering super-sensitive questions, the employee gets no personal feedback.
5. You’ll tell them it’s confidential, then aggregate so few respondents in a report that it’s not.
4. Your employees are afraid to tell the truth.
3. You’re not going to do anything with the results that will mean something to the employees.
2. The survey questions were written when your Millennial employees were in kindergarten.
1. Deep down, your executives don’t care.

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Rodd Wagner, New York Times bestselling author
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