ManagementIn the recruitment and retention wars, the battleground is often the office itself. The mission, it seems, is to keep staff members interested and enthused. For many business executives, the question of the day is,  “Are my employees engaged?”

Wrong question, says Bruce Tulgan. The founder of RainMakerThinking and an expert on young professionals, Tulgan has written a whitepaper that proposes a different train of thought.

“The key factor affecting employee engagement is the relationship employees have with their immediate supervisors. Therefore, the question you should be asking is this: Are your MANAGERS engaged or not?” Tulgan writes in The Under-Management Epidemic. “From our ongoing research, we have become convinced that too many of those in leadership positions — at all levels — are disengaged from their direct reports on a day-to-day basis.”

Specifically, writes Tulgan, the problem lies in management’s inability to “regularly and consistently” provide the following five things:

  1. “Clear statements of performance requirements and standard operating procedures related to recurring tasks and responsibilities.”
  2. “Clear statements of defined parameters, measurable goals and concrete deadlines for all work assignments for which the direct report will be held accountable.”
  3. “Accurate monitoring, evaluation and documentation of work performance.”
  4. “Clear statements of specific feedback on work performance with guidance for improvement.”
  5. “Rewards and detriments distributed fairly.”

Read the rest of the white paper here, then tell us: Is under-management the epidemic that Tulgan proposes? Are you giving your employees all five of these things on a regular, consistent basis?

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