The Truth About Employee Engagement

This is a book review on The Truth About Employee Engagement By Patrick Lencioni.

As I work through this series, the information in this book as well as the others are all simple but it doesn’t mean it is easy to implement, accomplish as an organization and/or to sustain. In this fable, with a familiar face from the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, we learn that the right people in the wrong environment are set-up for failure. As usual, great takeaways and reminders for teams (which leads to the first takeaway from the book).

Bryan’s Takeaways from the Book:

Early quote in the book that is so true, “People need to be reminded more often than needed to be instructed.”

A job is bound to be miserable if it doesn’t involve measurement and relevance.

If a person has no way of knowing if they’re doing good job, even if they’re doing something they love, they’ll get frustrated.

People who aren’t good at their jobs don’t want to be measured, because then they have to be accountable for something. Great employees love that kind of accountability. They crave it. Poor ones run from it.

Every human being that works has to know that what they do matters to another human being. In some way, their work has to make a difference in someone else’s life.

For some employees, the manager is the person whose life they impact. But managers don’t want to admit it, because it makes them feel egotistical or elitist. So they pretend it’s not true, which, ironically, only leaves the employees wondering if their work matters.

People ought to think about measuring those things that make a difference to the person or people they serve

Managers need to understand that the people whose lives they impact are their employees. And if they don’t know who those people are, and what their lives are all about, how can you possibly do that?

Managing people takes a lot of time. It’s a full-time job, not something you do in between your regular work. Most managers don’t see it that way. They see management as an extra activity, something that you do when and if you have the time.

In order to be the kind of leader who demonstrates genuine interest in employees and who can help people discover the relevance of their work, a person must have a level of personal confidence and emotional vulnerability.

Human beings need to be needed, and they need to be reminded of this pretty much every day. They need to know that they’re helping others, not really serving themselves.

If managers cannot see beyond what their employees are doing and help them understand who they are helping and how they are making a difference, then those jobs are bound to be miserable.

The key to establishing effective measures for a job lies in identifying those areas that an employee can directly influence, and then ensuring that the specific measurements are connected to the person or people they are meant to serve.

There’s one thing we can actually control, the mindset with which we respond to events around us.