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Element 5 Cares About Me

35% of U.S. Managers Are Engaged in Their Jobs

Upscale clothier Jack Mitchell, author of the bestseller Hug Your Customers and CEO of Mitchells/Richards/Marshs, explains his infectiously enthusiastic approach to management in his latest book, Hug Your People. In this interview, Mitchell tells why positivity is good for productivity and profits.

Why does it matter so much to employees that someone at work cares about them? It's because their need for bonding extends far beyond their homes, churches, and neighborhoods, according to the authors of the New York Times bestseller 12: The Elements of Great Managing.

Nearly one quarter of U.S. employees -- and 51% of actively disengaged workers -- would sack their managers if given the chance, according to the latest GMJ survey. Engaged employees, however, are far more charitable to their supervisors.

If the Thai government is counting on that country's employees to fuel a vibrant, progressive economy, it should be forewarned that its efforts may remain stuck in neutral. A recent Gallup Employee Engagement Index survey in Thailand revealed that "engaged" employees make up only 12% of the country's employee population.

Some managers inspire excellence. Some inspire loyalty. But a very few, such as Diane Marinacci at the federal General Services Administration, inspire people to the highest quality of work, the sincerest forms of loyalty, and passionate engagement. Find out what makes Marinacci so special, and successful.

As more Thai firms try to compete in the global market, they learn that the quality of their people is critical to winning business. Those firms often start by asking "How do we select talented employees?" But a smarter question would be "How can we keep our talented employees?" -- because the financial implications of losing a single talented worker are enormous.

Thailand's Prime Minister has urged his country's industrialists to improve productivity and quality amid increasingly tough global competition. This is a tough challenge for any company. The first solution that comes to mind -- investing in new technology and machinery -- is only open to financially strong firms. A better solution is to harness a company's human potential.

A survey of German employees last summer revealed that a staggering 69% are profoundly disconnected from their work -- a surprise, since German workers are highly skilled and generously compensated, and they produce some of the best products in the world. What accounts for the low German engagement? And what can be done to improve it?

Customer loyalty is at the core of the "value creation" proposition. High loyalty scores bode well for future growth. But what exactly is customer loyalty? How does loyalty relate to engaging customers? And what role does your sales force play in generating customer loyalty and engagement?

Gallup's research indicates that employees don't leave companies, they leave managers and supervisors. The impact that a supervisor has in today's workplace can be either very valuable or very costly to the organization and the people who work there.