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Customized Training, Coaching and Consultation for High Value Employees and High Impact Issues

Learning 4 Performance

June 23, 2010

Volume III, Issue VII

Employee Engagment:
A Leadership Series

Number Six of More than Seven (probably Nine or Ten)

Approximate reading time: 3 minutes

In This issue:

  1. Managing Involvement - How to Get Commitment without Participation
  2. Rob's Corner
  3. Online Choice Analysis Workshop
  4. Current Blog Posts
  5. Upcoming Public Workshops

Over the last two weeks, we’ve looked at the “Introspective” guidelines for involving your team. These two guidelines look at the leader relative to the information the leader already has and how the leader will access “missing information." The two Introspective tips were:

  1. “Be absolutely certain you have all the information required before choosing the course of action without involving your team!” and
  2. “If you don’t know either what information is missing or how to get it, assemble the team and ask them as a group.”

All other things being equal, people want to be involved in the decisions which impact them. However, there are times when people will commit to a course of action without being involved.

So let's investigate the Commitment without Participation guideline. This guideline states that if the team will not commit to your solution without being actively involved, “Solicit information and opinion (analysis) from at least one team member.”

The Commitment without Participation guideline requires that the leader have a good knowledge of his or her team. If, as the leader of a team, you do not know if the team will commit to the course of action you choose for a particular situation, assume that they will not!

Will my team commit without participation in the decision?

So why does the guideline say that you should solicit information from at least one team member? Let’s say the team has six or seven members, isn’t asking just one a bit skimpy? To answer this accurately, we need to look at two things, how Vic Vroom & Phillip Yetton documented involvement, and how we define “team” in the context of Mastering Involvement.

First, in the contest of Mastering Involvement, we are looking at a team that is functioning well as a team. When this is the case, there is an assumption that there is good communication within the team. With that said, it is further assumed that, if the leader works one-on-one with any team member, the substance of that communication is shared with all team members.

Now to Vroom & Yetton: We’ll not go into the mechanics of how it was documented, but Vroom & Yetton won awards for the statistical documentation they did. On a 10 point scale, they found the following:

Involvement-Commitment scale
Click for a larger image

The bottom line is, by asking just one team for his or her analysis of the situation, the leader has gotten ½ of all the available commitment “brownie points." For a modest investment of time and energy, the leader has made huge progress in getting team commitment towards the chosen course of action.

Today’s tip: If you do not know if the team will commit to the course of action you choose without their active participation for a particular situation, assume that they will not! That means involve them: seek out at least one member of the team for their information and their opinions.


George Loyer George

George posts regularly to the blog at


Rob's Corner
Stats on Employee Engagement

How much productivity are YOU losing?
5 Simple Steps to Raise Engagement & Performance

I was reading an article recently in the Harvard Business Review entitled "The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less." Starting from the premise that multitasking is hugely inefficient over the long haul, the author, Tony Schwartz, explains how he helps clients, as individuals and as teams, to take a more realistic approach to getting work done day in and day out. A slower pace, (almost a more southern pace, to my mind), one that recognizes our physical and psychological needs for rhythm and rest. Very interesting.

However, what stood out most to me were the figures he cited relative to Employee Engagement in the workplace. A 2007 survey conducted by Towers Perrin of almost 90,000 employees across industry and around the globe found only 21% who were Fully Engaged, 40% who were somewhat engaged, and almost 40% who were disenchanted or disengaged.

90,000 surveys. Hard to write that off as too small of a sample size. No, not just one industry. Not even "just" an American problem. This is big.

And it's not just those other companies. It's YOUR company. If you haven't seen it yet, well, open your eyes.

I have a friend who I will call Jodi. A hugely talented, natural networker, she was hired on to lead marketing efforts for a small manufacturing company. Jodi is a big idea person with a lot of energy who really wants to help her "new family" prosper.

Except she hasn't received adequate training on the product line yet. She has ideas, but she can't get five minutes with the boss to discuss them (he's too busy with operations). She knows that he needs greater online presence as well as sales coaching. But her boss already "knows" that she should just focus on trade shows.

Jodi is doing her best ... but already, her company is receiving less than 100% of the energy that she has to give. And your company? How many "Jodis" do you have? Good people who are working in systems which don't support their best work eventually give you less than their best. When you multiply the figures on engagement times the salaries involved, the lost productivity is STAGGERING!

Practically speaking, what can you do to raise Employee Engagement? Here are five simple steps:

  1. For starters, communicate your desire to create the kind of work environment that supports people doing their best work. Look your people in the eye and tell them that you care about their opinions and suggestions.
  2. Make communication a two-way street. Building on the principle that George shares to the left, set up or improve procedures to solicit employee opinions and share with them how those suggestions are being used.
  3. Learn the fundamentals about Performance Systems. We're not talking about that sterile, once-a-year review that everybody hates (managers hate giving it, employees hate getting it). We are talking about the work system that a person is in each and every day, all day long. Read the blog series on performance systems here.
  4. Express appreciation for good work. Every time you see it, say it. Frequency doesn't diminish the power of praise. Rather, it provides the necessary foundation for corrective coaching when that is needed. More about coaching and praise here.
  5. Pay attention to George's articles (like the one to the left) as they are a tremendous value. This newsletter series "Employee Engagement" summarizes the proven ways to effectively involve your people in decision-making so that you get more engagement. To review the complete series, click here. For in-depth learning, schedule the Mastering Involvement workshop.

Your employees want to give their best! Stop the Performance Drain by doing your part: practice the five steps above to drive greater employee engagement at your workplace.

Winner in You ,

RobRob Benson

Online Choice Analysis Workshop Nearing Completion

We are nearing the end of production of the first "Reality on the Web" workshop, "Choice Analysis." This web-based training brings our highly successful, proprietary methodology for superior decision-making to the individual user. Content-rich, flexible learning at an affordable price.

We need beta testers to try out the program and provide feedback before we take it live. AT NO COST, we will supply access for up to 10 people in your organization to participate and will forward you all supporting learning materials.

Your Commitment: at least one person at your facility will complete the 4 hour workshop within two weeks of beta launch. You agree to answer a short survey and grant a 15 minute interview to one of our staff following your organization's use of the product.

Hurry! This opportunity is open only to the first ten organizations who contact us and register.

Current Blog Posts


At Your Mgt Matters


Register for an Upcoming Public Workshop

  • Trouble Shooting Logic
    • August 24-26, 2010, Atlanta, GA
    • September 20-22, 2010, Atlanta, GA
    • October 25-27, 2010, Atlanta, G
  • The Sales CODE, September 14-15, 2010, Atlanta, GA
  • Performance Coaching, September 23-24, 2010, Atlanta, GA
  • Mastering Involvement, October 28, 2010, Atlanta, GA
  • Trouble Shooting Logic Train-the-Trainer (T3), November 8-19, 2010, Atlanta, GA
  • Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer (T3) -  Openers, Initiatives and Low Elements - November 30-December 1, 2010, Utica, MS
  • Experiential Expertise Train-the-Trainer (T3) - Trust, Low Ropes, High Ropes and AlpineTower - December 2-3, 2010, Utica, MS

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and High Value Personnel

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