The mass movement of employees from one organization to another the last decades is worrying. However, people misunderstand the reason behind the mass movement that it may be caused by desire and search for greener pastures. The truth is opposite of their expectation or perception. As Leigh Branham explains, people move because of other reasons than search for better salaries in other organizations. In his 7 hidden reasons employees disengage and sometimes leave, he explains concisely why people move from organizations as early as three months after getting in. I do agree to some extent with the Leigh Branhams idea that people dont necessarily leave to companies because of better payment in another company, but they leave because of the way they are treated by their bosses.
Branham is right when he says that it is not that capable workers leave the companies because they have gotten a better place somewhere else but it is because they are pushed away by the preponderance of negative factors emanating from the poor management practices and harmful workplace cultures (Branham 13). Among the key reasons he has highlighted in his book, Branham explains the loss of trust and confidence in the senior leaders, devaluing of workers by the bosses, stressful work conditions, and lack of coaching and feedback as the main factors that push away the capable workers. However, all of them seem to be emanating from the management side.
Branham explains that approximately 60% of employees say that they dont get enough feedback from their services (Branham 75); thus, they feel that the management does not appreciate or recognize them. The success of the organization depends on the workers or employees. When employees are not willing to work the production level goes down, and this can affect the profit of the company. Employees need to be motivated either through pay raise or promotions. The business owner should focus on building a good relationship with the workers that can be able to instill the positive attitude and perception towards their work (Branham 80). As Branham explains, employees can disengage if they feel that they deserve promotions and they are not promoted, they learn that they are underpaid in comparison to other people in the same job, or when they receive low-performance rate. The feedback is important to the employees. It is like a class where students who score high grades will always feel the sense of belongingness in the school. The same happens with the employees; they need to feel that they are part and parcel of that organization (Branham 94).
Loss of trust and confidence in senior leaders is another key factor that I tend to agree on regarding the disengagement of employees in organizations. Building trust in the organization starts with the leaders before it reaches the employees and other stakeholders like customers. Branham states that approximately 82% of employees in America believe that their bosses are egocentric and selfish because they held themselves at the expense of the organization (188). A good and ethical leader cannot advance his self-interest at the expense of the organization or the employees. With the diversity of the society and business world today, organizations need to establish a good reputation which can translate to its better performance. I recently heard an incidence that happened here in America regarding an outside company, Volkswagen Motor Vehicle Company and it can help understand the need to build trust and confidence among the employees and other stakeholders in the organization. The case of Volkswagen that left the company with a fine of over $10 billion as compensation to the duped customers in America emerged in September 2015 and is believed to have been caused by the CEO of the company, Martin Winterkorn. Due to the global financial crisis in 2008, the CEO saw an opportunity in the neglected American market and decided to exploit it. However, his aim was to make more money at the expense of the company or the employees. He pressured his engineers to design powerful and fuel efficient cars within a short period so as to be able to get the market. With the pressure, the engineers built the cars with emission control software which was supposed to cheat the testing process. After the emission scandal, the CEO resigned so were many employees who felt that they cannot trust the management. As Branham explains, most employees are focused on trustworthy and loyalty of their senior leaders to inspire their commitment (199). However, the company executives cannot inspire their employees unless they lead by example and show that they are committed to them and the company. Of course, there is a possibility that employees can move from one company to another because of salary, but I dont think that it is the key reason behind their disengagement. Trust and loyalty is something that many executives misunderstand. Most of the company owners or bosses believe that it is only workers or employees who should pledge their loyalty to them. However, this is a wrong perception; trust and loyalty are involved in two ways. The truth of the matter is that it is the leaders who should show loyalty, trust, and confidence to the employees so that they can follow the steps. Leaders with bad moral values will always make bad decisions that will affect the whole organization. Like the case of Volkswagen, the bad decision made by CEO of the company tends to cost the company billions of money and most importantly the reputation of the company in America and also across the world.
Devaluing employees is also another important reason why workers disengage in companies (Branham 130). As Branham explains, there are many ways that an employee may feel devalued or unrecognized (131). For instance, not acknowledged for having done a job well, inequality in payment, not being respected or treated with dignity and respect, and working in the unacceptable environment are amongst the few ways that can make an employee feel devalued and unrecognized. Stress from overwork within the organization can also result in employee-disengagement (Branham 156). Every employee matters and contributes to the success of the organization. Success requires commitment and group work where everyone is committed to achieving the organizational goals and objectives. Therefore, valuing and appreciating some employees and devaluing others is a wrong way to manage. Branham asserts that one can identify disengaged employees through their personalities and behaviors. For instance, a disengaged employee is uncommitted, marginally productive, increased negativity and sometimes working against the companys interest (Branham 104). Branham further explains that it is difficult for an employee to just leave an organization for another without good reasons. He asserts that employees dont just leave because of the good money offered on the other side. Every employee loves his/her work and the organization; however when they start to feel that their interests are not catered for in the organization that is when the disengagement starts to emanate. A good boss is one who makes decisions that do not affect the stakeholders negatively.
To conclude, employees are also an important part of the company just like the customers. However, most company owners and leaders use wrong ways to engage with their employees. As Branham explains, employees do not leave the companies they love for money but they leave because they feel that they are valued, recognized, respected, and treated as members of the company. Therefore, I support Branhams idea that the disengagement in companies is avoidable. Senior leaders need to understand work processes and consult their employees before they make any changes. They also need to be more connected with the employees and support them by including them in the decision making.
Branham, L. "The 7 hidden reasons employees leave: How to recognize the subtle signs and act before its too late. AMACOM, New York, USA." (2012).
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