. 21
( 40 .)


14. Manchester Consulting survey, 2002.
15. Susan J. Wells, ˜˜Who™s Next? Creating a Formal Program for Devel-
oping New Leaders Can Pay Huge Dividends, But Many Firms Aren™t
Reaping Those Rewards,™™ HR Magazine, November, 2003.
16. Ibid., citing study of Fortune 1000 companies by Korn/Ferry Interna-
17. Thomas J. DeLong and Vineeta Vijayraghavan, ˜˜Let™s Hear It for B
Players,™™ Harvard Business Review, June 2003.
18. Carroll Lachnit, ˜˜Training Proves Its Worth,™™ Training Magazine, Sep-
tember 2001.

R® #: T F· G· ®¤ A¤®® O°°µ®©© 117

19. American Society for Training & Development, ˜˜Trends Watch,™™
20. Ibid.
21. Susan J. Wells, ˜˜Stepping Carefully: Attention to Staf¬ng Levels,
Compensation, and Training Will Help Ride Out a Slowdown,™™ HR
Magazine, April 19, 2001.
22. Santonocito, ˜˜Lands™ End to Use PeopleComeFirst Solution.™™
23. ˜˜Create a ˜Personal Development Fund,™ ™™ Employee Recruitment and
Retention, Lawrence Ragan Communications, 2000.
24. Keith H. Hammonds, ˜˜Handle with Care: How UPS Handles Pack-
ages Starts with How It Handles Its People,™™ Fast Company, August


Reason 5:
Feeling Devalued and
Make people who work
for you feel important.
If you honor and serve
them, they™ll honor
and serve you.

— ”M K A

wants to feel important. So how do so
It™s really quite simple”everybody
many organizations manage to make so many people feel so unimportant?
Selected comments from Saratoga™s surveys show there are several way that
working people are made to feel unimportant. Here are some of those
ways, in their own words:
Lack of Simple Appreciation
• ˜˜They do not give to employees. On my ¬rst day of work I was not
able to take a lunch. Also, I am not able to spend any money on my
employees to show appreciation for a job well done.™™
• ˜˜It™s horrid to hear about an employee who had been with the com-
pany for 20 years and did not even receive a card showing the
company™s appreciation.™™
• ˜˜I believe ABC Company could do a better job of recognizing em-
ployees more. People tend to work better if there is an appreciation
shown for what they are doing.™™
Too Much Focus on the Numbers, Not Enough on People
• ˜˜Everyone is treated as a number and not a person, you are a ma-
R® #µ: F¬©®§ D¬µ¤ ®¤ U®§®©¤ 119

• ˜˜Company leaders should recognize employees or understand that
despite all the focus on productivity, pro¬ts and customers, they also
should be ¬‚exible and appreciate the employees. It does not surprise
me that there is a high turnover rate at XYZ Company.™™

Feeling They Deserve Recognition and Don™t Get It, While Others Do

• ˜˜The evening shift should be paid more!™™
• ˜˜When you are in a remote of¬ce you are forgotten about.™™
• ˜˜They do not show appreciation to the people who do the work,
they give praise to the managers of the people that do the work.
˜Thank you™s™ are free.™™
• ˜˜ABC Company hires new employees [who are] making more
money than the people that have been here a long time. Then they
want you to train the new employees that make more than you.™™

Feeling That No One Even Knows or Cares if They Exist

• ˜˜This of¬ce never seems to receive any recognition in any kind of
corporate newsletters or bulletins. Many of us feel isolated and ig-
• ˜˜When I came to ABC Company my manager never paid attention
to the times I was available to work. Once a week, if not more, I
would have to bring it to her attention the hours that I was available
to work. Two months in a row she scheduled me wrong and made
changes in the schedule without even asking me. I will never work
at ABC again.™™
• ˜˜Joining XYZ Company was the worst mistake I have ever made.
When I was hired no one even knew I was starting.™™

Recognition Was Too Late in Coming to Be Meaningful

• ˜˜ABC Company rewards you for excellence, but when they do, it™s
months down the road before you hear anything.™™

Feeling That No One Is Listening to Them

• ˜˜We should be able to give input in regards to the new building. I
believe that the employees know best how much meeting and stor-
age space is needed.™™

The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave

• ˜˜ABC Company takes a bulldozer approach to management. It is
˜this is the direction we are going,™ period, without asking for input
from employees.™™
• ˜˜XYZ Company initiates change without consulting the people who
these changes will directly affect.™™

Feeling They Are Worth Less Than Employees at Other Companies
• ˜˜They don™t stay competitive with other companies™ pay scales. We
have lost 75 percent of our employees to other employers that pay
considerably more.™™
• ˜˜The pay for our jobs is not enough to keep well-trained employees
away from the competition. The small raises enable the competition
to steal the employees away.™™
• ˜˜Upper and middle management obviously don™t have a clue what
fair market value is for talented and experienced employees. After
my two-year review I was so disappointed that I momentarily got
• ˜˜Compensation is below market. A software developer with the
same experience and skill in this city is paid $53,000. However, I am
only being paid $32,000. I have received two offers that are paying
close to average.™™

Believing They Are Not Paid for Performance
• ˜˜I have been given no incentives and no bonuses to show that I am
• ˜˜ABC Company needs a system to allow supervisors and managers
to give raises based on merit or pay for performance. Their ˜blanket™
2 percent and 3 percent raises are a joke and do nothing to encourage
employees to strive for better performance.™™
• ˜˜Bonuses are only given to whomever the manager likes.™™

Some Feel That the Wrong Kinds of Rewards Are Being Given
• ˜˜Bonuses should always be an option for rewarding employees in-
stead of certi¬cates or plaques.™™
• ˜˜Forget all the cute gimmicks and ˜jean day™ and all the other childish
improvements, and make the pay adequate enough to live off of”I
have a mortgage to pay.™™

R® #µ: F¬©®§ D¬µ¤ ®¤ U®§®©¤ 121

• ˜˜They had a company picnic for the employees and instead of giving
the employees the whole day off, we got to enjoy the horrible food
for only a half an hour, and then go back to work.™™

Slow Pay and Changing Pay Plans
• ˜˜There are too many changes in the compensation plans.™™
• ˜˜My last payroll change took six weeks. 401K deposits were incon-
• ˜˜Reimbursement of tuition after four months is too long to have to
• ˜˜Highly dissatis¬ed with delay tactics of HR in resolving payroll/
overtime issues. Instead of management resolving an issue, their
words and attitude were ˜if you don™t like it”get a job elsewhere.™ ™™

Feeling They Are Treated Like Children Instead of Adults
• ˜˜I did not appreciate having to keep tabs on every second of my
time. I felt that as mature adults, we should be responsible for our
• ˜˜At the call center they make a big deal about the employees dressing
appropriately when customers don™t see even them.™™

The Company Doesn™t Care About Their Physical Surroundings
• ˜˜The noise level makes it very hard to do my job properly.™™
• ˜˜A person cannot work in a 120-degree warehouse in the summer.™™
• The lack of workspace has become outrageous, to the point of em-
ployees having to sit on the ¬‚oor to do necessary paperwork because
lack of counter space. Yet requests for expansion (of existing services
space) are continually denied. This has seriously impacted everyone
and is the main cause of low morale.™™
• ˜˜We have beautiful signs in the front of our banking of¬ce, but the
insides of most of our buildings are dirty, outdated and run down.™™

Not Provided with the Right Tools
• ˜˜Computers are horrible. They are always crashing.™™
• ˜˜I think ABC Company™s biggest problem is skimping on equipment
and amenities for doing our work.™™

The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave

• ˜˜It™s like pulling teeth to get new equipment and supplies.™™
• ˜˜XYZ Company does not supply the necessary equipment, i.e.,
computers, adequate work space, or ¬le storage, or reference books
needed daily to be ef¬cient and quick in the performance of job
duties. Give people the tools necessary to ef¬ciently do their job!
Days and weeks are wasted waiting for computer bugs to be re-

In all these ways, companies are not only missing opportunities to en-
gage their workers, they are also giving them cause to become disengaged.
Because these are the comments of employees who actually left their orga-
nizations, they serve as strong evidence that disengagement leads directly
to costly turnovers.
William James once said that ˜˜the deepest craving in human nature is
the craving to be appreciated.™™ If that is so, why is there such reluctance
on the part of managers to give it?

Why Managers Are Reluctant to Recognize
Managers are reluctant to recognize because:

• The very qualities that result in people rising into management posi-
tions in most organizations often do not include empathy for others.
• They have worked for managers who taught them, ˜˜if you don™t
hear from me, that means you™re doing a good job,™™ or ˜˜don™t expect
me to pat you on the back just for doing your job”I expect you to
do your job.™™
• They are not paying enough attention to the performance of their
employees to know when they have done something worth recog-
nizing. (This begs the question, what are they paying attention to, if
not the performance of their employees?)
• They don™t know enough about an employee™s job to know the
difference between average and superior performance.
• They believe their people will think they are phony and insincere
when they try to praise them.
• They are afraid they will recognize some employees, and forget to
recognize others.

R® #µ: F¬©®§ D¬µ¤ ®¤ U®§®©¤ 123

• They believe that rewarding and recognizing employees is the re-
sponsibility of the human resources department.

It is rather discouraging to review these reasons. They are all too un-
derstandable. It makes one wonder how, with such obstacles, some compa-
nies are actually able to build cultures of recognition. The task of building
such a culture is a formidable one, especially in organizations with a history
of authoritarian leadership or in highly technical, scienti¬c, or engineering
organizations where thinking is more valued than feeling.
But thinkers have feelings too, and if their employers do not make
them feel valued, they will exercise their options to move on to employers
who do. After all, the comments of lost employees reveal that in all too
many cases, disengagement really is about management™s failure to consider
the impact of their actions, or lack of action, on employees™ emotions,
especially when it results in an employee feeling worth less. It should be said
that many employees have over-in¬‚ated views of their own worth. But I
believe many more suffer from just the opposite af¬‚iction and need to be
more frequently acknowledged as valued contributors.

Recognizing the Signs That Employees Feel
Devalued and Unrecognized
Because there are so many factors that may cause an employee to feel deval-
ued or unrecognized, there are just as many different indicators. Here are
some suggestions of what to look for as precursors of potential disengage-

• Valued contributor is overdue for a pay increase.
• Valued contributor is paid less than others in similar jobs in organiza-


. 21
( 40 .)