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Top Level Management breeds Disengagement - HE Blog
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Top Level Management Breeds Lower Level Disengagement and Turnovers

Top Level Management Breeds Lower Level Disengagement and Turnovers

Hierarchical organizations bring unique challenges, which must be addressed at all levels. The main challenge is that top-level managers are less suited to making policies and strategic decisions than previously thought.

Regardless of how tactical the hiring process or how many days are spent becoming acquainted with the procedural processes of a company, top-level managers may still come up short.


Well, to answer that question we first need to start by going back to the bottom.

However, to start from the bottom we must first glance back at the top. At the point where we enter the lofty towers and sit prominently at the long table accompanied by CEOs, Presidents, and board members.

In a room where a faint smell of confidence waffles through the air and settles upon the smug dominate leaders. All who are above reproach and question. This is the level that defines the path most traveled.

A path, which has caused much dissension in the ranks of the hierarchy, especially at the mid and lower levels.

This is where all those wonderfully clever decisions are created and executed.  

Employee disengagement

Unfortunately, those decisions are not wholly based on the real functions of the heart of the corporation.

The heart, which encompasses the mid to lower level managers, workers, and customers. managers being the missing link in a lot of the decision making that takes place at that table.

However, managers are not the only ones that are ignored. Since the workers are also a large group overlooked during these times. When that occurs, a huge employee shift happens in positions and companies due to discontentment in the way things are accomplished.

In our book, The Effective Management of the Human Employee we call such employees, turnovers.

A phrase used by the US Department of labor to identify employees who left an unsatisfying work situation to pursue a healthier work relationship.

This identification differs from employee attrition whereby they leave due to retirement or life changes.

Turnovers are more often due to management disengagement.  This disengagement is a causal effect of top-down decision making that reflects little to no lower level feedback.

“70% of the variance in workgroup engagement
is caused by managers."

According to a current Gallop announcement “Managers are crucial for a company’s success, and disengaged managers cost the business in productivity and potential.

A manager’s emotional response is contagious, too, so if the manager is disengaged, disengagement cascades down to the team — in fact, Gallup analytics find that 70% of the variance in workgroup engagement is caused by managers.”

Corporations are learning at a quicker rate that management engagement and feedback are a crucial component in avoiding high turnovers and low productivity.

As seen in a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Study after study shows that employee engagement, an index of bringing one’s best and full self to work, is not just an organizational nicety.

It is a business imperative, linked to a number of performance outcomes, including profitability, customer satisfaction, and turnover.”

So, why are so many top-level leaders failing to connect the dots? Well, arguably one of the biggest reasons is status and pride. Besides, many corporate heads think it’s unnecessary to gather lower level trench leader’s opinions.

They believe in the father knows the best scenario rather than asking for honest, helpful opinions. However, this type of thinking can lead a corporation to an internal stale mat, breeding turnovers and hemorrhaging profits.

Including profits, which could be better spent on improving the business’s functionality or procuring more advanced technology to stay current. A task that is never ending in today’s tech-driven world.

"51% of employees who leave freely could have
been retained if their top level management
took action to do so."

Regrettably, knowing the problem is only half the battle. Moreover, according to a Gallup workplace post, 51% of employees who leave freely could have been retained if their top level management took action to do so.

Therefore, knowing this should increase a corporation’s desire to retain or at least make an attempt to hold onto their good employees.

If that does not inspire top management to gather feedback and enhance engagement take a closer look at the true cost to the company.

In the same Gallop post, it states painfully that “a 100-person organization that provides an average salary of $50,000 could have turnover and replacement costs of approximately $660,000 to $2.6 million per year.”

Ouch! Who could ask for more motivation than that?

Hope for Employee Disengagement

Whereas, on the bright side corporations are striving to make improvements in the area of engagement and retention.

In doing so, many corporations have discovered that keeping to old traditions are just too costly as we have revealed earlier.

Still some practices do die hard and take a great deal of patience and development to overcome.

But it can be achieved.

The move towards more and more baby boomers leaving the workforce and the underlying surge of millennial predecessors is creating more of a need for the climate shift.

business leadership

Still, nothing is without discomfort. In our book, we discuss in detail how subtle changes can lead to big communication.

I know that this sounds like rhetoric information but communication on all levels of management is key to the success of the company and its employees.

Knowing how to reengage your employees even on the lowest level can be accomplished through an open dialogue. That dialogue must be set up and established with gentle grace because the force is too disingenuous.  

Moving past the disengagement and high turnover rates with Collaboration, Recognition, and Honesty.

Collaborate with lower level management to get their opinion and honest feedback. eedback that will lead to better strategic decision-making processes. Since each interaction with lower management builds trust and respect.

Also, it is important to include recognition and honesty.  Being sincere in wanting their feedback and giving acknowledgments to those that contribute is the next step to reengagement.

Taking the time to listen to the complaints, criticisms, and opinions of those who perform the work is a strategy that works.

A manager who is active in the decision making regardless of hierarchal level is an engaged employee, and one who believes that his/her thoughts and opinions matter.

That is quintessential to retaining good managers and staff.

Also, the renewed spirit of the manager will trickle down to the team he/she manages to carry the mindset of the same amount of open honest collaboration.

Sign up now to receive news, tips, and book release updates to learn more about how to be intrinsically open and honest with your human employee, along with a 25% discount off our soon to be released book The Effective Management of the Human Employee available August 9th, 2019.

Tamiko Williams

Tamiko is a Certified Mindset Transformation Coach, the CEO and managing member of Averette Technologies LLC, and the founder of The Human Employee who possesses over 20 years’ experience in business management, customer-oriented relationships, technology, and coaching. She holds two degrees in both business and development along with a master’s degree in computer science. She has dedicated her life to helping others achieve their dreams.

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