How Great Bosses Build Employee Engagement

Do you like the sign?  It's a real town in Wisconsin and I couldn't resist grabbing a shot of "Bosstown" as we drove through it this past summer.  It gave me pause, as I imagined  a community composed of nothing but managers.  What would the culture be like?  Who'd be in charge?  Would it be the most efficient place on the planet or the most egotistical? Some employees feel they come to work every day in "Bosstown" at its worst -- where only managers and their marching orders matter.  Where "you're lucky to have a job" is the approach to motivation.  Where staffers don't really know where they stand because feedback is in such short supply.  So they work in fear. They keep their heads down, offer little in the way of ideas for improvement, do their assigned work and go home.  They don't cheer for their organization's success or talk the place up to others.  It's a job -- until a better one might come along.  In short, they're not engaged. Recently,  the management website "Switch and Shift" published a collection of essays on employee engagement.  I was invited to be one of the guest writers.  I wrote about what I call "The Threshold Test" -- something each of us takes as we come to work.  Here's a version of that essay as it now appears on -- with lessons on how to make certain your employees don't think they live in "Bosstown" -- but rather, in a place that values them and what they bring to the workplace.  A place where they feel a connection -- an engagement. Just click here to read the advice.  
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