AGL 032: The Engagement Epidemic

CodeStock 2018
April 23, 2018
Technical Leadership Content Survey
June 1, 2018

AGL 032: The Engagement Epidemic

I recently gave a talk on Employee Engagement for millennials.  Here are my thoughts on the subject:

Engagement Stats
  • 70% of employees not engaged at work
  • 89% of companies think employees leave for more $$$ but only 12% actually do
  • 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least 1 time per week but only 13% of disengaged employees receive weekly feedback
  • 75% of people voluntarily leaving their job, don’t quit their job, they quit their bosses.

Why people quit their job

  1. They hate their boss
  2. Their work doesn’t matter

Adding Purpose

Add purpose doesn’t always have to be the big “P” Purpose, like saving the rainforest. It could just be the little “p” purpose, like why we do what we do.  This is another example of how Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” is so important in leadership.

Ignoring Boss

If a boss ignores an employee… they are 40% more likely to “actively disengage” from work and their company.  To “actively disengage” you aren’t just not engaged… you are actively  looking for non-work related things to do.  Like gossip, blogging, searching for other jobs, etc.  These activities are not only be bad for the employee performance, but also the performance and attitudes of those around this employee.

Critical Boss

A Critical boss causes 22% increase in actively disengagement… that means, being critical is better than ignoring. At least critical bosses are paying attention, right?

A Praising Boss 

A Boss that praises 1 out of 10 successes usually has less than 1% of employees will actively disengage. So this means you only have to recognize and compliment 1 out of 10 great things your team members do… its not that hard.

Motivation and Management

Management is old school.  Management was creating in the 1850’s as a way of gaining compliance in the workforce.  It works great for compliance, not so great for engagement.  If we want engagement, we need Leadership, not Management. 

If/Then doesn’t work

4 reason if then don’t work

  1. Engagement is intrinsic and IF/THEN is 100% extrinsic
  2. It puts individuals against one another in a competition, instead of working as a team
  3. It causes some folks to rationalize their ethics, leading to cheating and cutting corners
  4. It lacks emotional growth

FACT – Money is a motivator

Pay people fairly and enough to take Money off the table. Happiness is far more important than small raises.

Dan Pink described motivation the best I’ve heard it in his book Drive.


Freedom in your job.  Maybe its where you work, how you work, what you work on, or who you work with.


Getting better at things that matter. This could be training, personal growth, business growth, learning something important.  Getting a certification, or going or speaking at a conference. Also empowering (i hate that term) employees to do more, to stretch their role.


Working on something that matters.  Making sure their job matters in the big picture. To hear more about purpose, check out my TedX Talk.

(must listen to get the real value out of this episode)

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