Enemy of Engagement Book Synopsis


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Are your Employees engaged and enabled? If not, The Enemy of Engagement is a must-read book for you! Read the Synopsis of the book and learn why this is such an important book for Managers and HR alike.

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Enemy of Engagement Book Synopsis

  1. 1. Book synopsisPut an end to workplace frustration -and get the most from your employees There are a lot of frustrated people in most workplaces today. We’re not talking about the incorrigible office grump or the permanently unmotivated slacker. Instead, we’re referring to dedicated and valued workers who are being prevented from achieving their peak potential by organizational obstacles. Better enabling these employees to succeed represents an untapped avenue for radically improving productivity. Packed with the latest research findings from Hay Group, The Enemy of Engagement uncovers the hidden impediments to performance—excessive procedures, lack of resources, overly narrow roles, and more—and outlines best-practice solutions for eliminating them. This is not an insignificant issue facing businesses today. According to Hay Group’s study, depending on the industry, between one-third and one-half of employees report work conditions that keep them from being as productive as they could be. The Enemy of Engagement gives managers powerful new insights and research-based tools for ensuring their teams are both willing and able to make maximum contributions.©2011 Hay Group. All rights reserved 1
  2. 2. The Enemy of Engagement: put an end to workplace frustration - and get the most from your employees Unique aspects Recent Hay Group research indicates that in Organizations need There is currently a great deal of emphasis in organizations today, frustrated employees to ensure that work organizations and in the management literature may represent 20 per cent or more of the total on enhancing levels of employee engagement workforce. In this book, we explore in detail environments provide the sources of frustration in the workplace and – with good reason. In today’s global economic enabling conditions to environment, many organizations need to do the importance of both engaging and enabling employees to facilitate optimal performance. harness the reservoir more with less, making the discretionary effort of employees willing to ‘go the extra mile’ all the We consider the multiple ways low levels of of superior motivation enablement can negatively impact engaged more important. However, engaging employees, offered by an engaged while clearly important, is not alone sufficient employees and, ultimately, their organizations. to sustain maximum levels of individual and And we examine and specify the leadership and workforce managerial behaviors—and organizational tools team effectiveness over time. Hay Group has found that there are significant numbers of and processes—by which employee enablement organizations that enjoy high levels of employee can be enhanced and frustration most effectively engagement yet nonetheless struggle with reduced. performance issues. In these environments, employees are energized by goals and objectives There is no shortage of books available on how and are eager to help their organizations to manage employees. As such, it is important succeed. But they themselves often indicate that that this book not only delivers a unique, and they do not feel optimally productive. critical, message regarding the importance of both engaging and enabling employees but also What’s the missing piece? Engaged employees does so in a way that resonates strongly with who are frustrated by current work conditions readers. The authors weave into the presentation often seem to be saying to organizational of theory and research findings a fictional leaders, “Help me help you. Put me in a role that narrative that follows a group of managers leverages my skills and abilities and allows me to and employees as they experience frustration do what I do best. Give me the tools, technology, at work, come to understand it and its impact, information, support, and other resources I need and finally work to change both managerial to be effective. And, finally, get out of my way. behaviors and organizational systems to Don’t dilute my focus and consume my energy address it. This approach helps ‘bring to life’ the with tasks that don’t add value. And don’t challenges faced by frustrated employees and introduce procedural barriers that will interfere engage readers as they learn how to address the with my ability to get things done.” underlying issues. Organizations need to ensure that work environments provide enabling conditions to harness the reservoir of superior motivation offered by an engaged workforce. Frustrated employees represent a lost opportunity for organizations. From a motivational perspective, organizational leaders have these employees where they want them. But when it comes to ensuring that they are as productive as possible, organizations and managers are missing out.©2011 Hay Group. All rights reserved 2
  3. 3. The Enemy of Engagement: put an end to workplace frustration - and get the most from your employees Target audience Structure and content This book is targeted at anyone charged with directly managing the day-to-day activities of a Introduction group of employees. Managers are bombarded Chapter 1 There’s something happening here with messages about how important it is to motivate and inspire their people. Very Chapter 2 Frustration: the silent killer little attention, however, has been given to Chapter 3 Workplace frustration spreads how managers can most effectively translate at Bernette employee motivation into optimal levels of Chapter 4 Enabling high levels of performance performance. Unfortunately, the commitment from engaged employees and discretionary effort offered by engaged employees can be squandered if managers are Chapter 5 Doing more with less not careful to position employees in roles that Chapter 6 Engagement walks in the door and fully leverage their potential and to provide them trips over enablement with the workplace supports they need to carry out their responsibilities. Chapter 7 Charting the way back on track Chapter 8 Understanding enablement If the essence of management is getting things Chapter 9 Tackling Bernette’s enablement issues done through people, then good managers clearly need to create work climates where people Chapter 10 Diagnosis and prescription can be maximally effective. This book focuses on Chapter 11 Starting to get results helping managers understand the conditions that foster employee frustration, and how they can Chapter 12 Managers as agents of more effectively manage their teams to ensure organizational change that employees are not only willing but also able Epilogue to make maximum contributions. “ This book focuses on helping managers understand the conditions that foster employee frustration, and how they can ” more effectively manage their teams©2011 Hay Group. All rights reserved 3
  4. 4. The Enemy of Engagement: put an end to workplace frustration - and get the most from your employees In chapters one and two, we introduce enablement. As employees grow in experience the concept of workplace frustration. We in their roles, they begin to focus less on learning both explain what it is (a highly engaged the ropes and more on achieving desired results. employee’s inability to succeed in a role due to In the process, they are increasingly confronted organizational barriers or the inability to bring with enablement constraints that limit their ability the bulk of his or her talents, skills, and abilities to get their jobs done effectively. Organizations to the job) and what it is not (demotivation, need to understand that the key to keeping dissatisfaction). We highlight common responses employees engaged over time is ensuring that to frustration exhibited by employees and the they are well enabled. negative consequences these reactions often have for individuals and organizations. Finally, With an understanding of frustration, its we explore why leaders in today’s organizations manifestations, and its implications, we focus in are frequently poorly positioned to identify and chapters seven and eight on a systematic review respond to workplace frustration. of root causes. We explore in detail the primary determinants of employee enablement. And we In chapters three and four, we differentiate drill down within these determinants to identify We explore why leaders employee engagement (motivating employees key aspects of the work environment that should in today’s organizations to succeed) from employee enablement (giving be focus areas for managers in understanding them the ability to perform effectively). current enablement levels within their teams. are frequently poorly We discuss engagement and enablement as positioned to identify distinct concepts that are influenced by different After calling attention to work environment and respond to organizational factors and managerial behaviors. considerations enablement-focused managers And we review research confirming that both need to monitor and address, in chapters nine workplace frustration are necessary for optimum performance; that is, and ten we turn our attention to strategies for high levels of engagement are not sustainable minimizing workplace frustration. We provide without enabling work conditions. a self-assessment that features a series of questions managers can consider, individually or In chapters five and six, we call attention with their teams, in relation to each enablement to the “tenure effect” commonly observed determinant. We also offer best-practice in organizations. Employee opinion trends recommendations for addressing opportunities consistently show that people are never as for improvement that are identified. engaged as they are in their first year on the job-- and that engagement levels tend to drop steadily While there is much managers can do on with longer tenures. The common explanation their own to position motivated employees is that expectations for jobs are not properly set to succeed, they clearly need support from in advance and, therefore, individuals become senior leaders in creating a focus on, and disillusioned as they begin to understand accountability for, employee enablement what their jobs actually entail. Organizations throughout an organization. In chapters eleven commonly respond by attempting to establish and twelve, we discuss the role of managers as more appropriate expectations or to integrate organizational change agents, giving a voice to employees into the organization and their frustrated employees and elevating awareness roles more effectively (e.g., through realistic job of enablement issues as essential to sustaining previews or onboarding programs). However, high levels of individual and team performance in our view the true solution lies with employee over time. About Hay Group Hay Group is a global management consulting firm that works with leaders to transform strategy into reality. We develop talent, organize people to be more effective and motivate them to perform at their best. Our focus is on making change happen and helping people and organizations realize their potential. www.haygroup.com/ww/enemyofengagement©2011 Hay Group. All rights reserved 4