What’s Wrong with David? Four Possible Steps to Help

David shuffled around in an non-purposefulness manner. Going from task to task, head down and shoulders slumped over. He acted a lot slower than normal, didn’t smile as much today and was certainly not engaged in his work.

“Hey, David how’s it going?”

“Crappy,” he said a low tone of voice. “I have a hangover.”

Well that certainly explains a lot. Having experienced that feeling at one point or two in my career, I could understand, however it was something he had done to himself or was it?

“Sorry to hear Dave. Had a late night yesterday out with friends?”

“No actually, I don’t drink. Stopped that years ago. I have a ‘Management Hangover'”

“A what?”

“A Management Hangover. I just got out of the office with the manager and now I feel like shit. I feel belittled and unmotivated. All they really care about are the production numbers not on improving anything or caring about anyone.”

There are many managers that I have had experienced and interviewed do not see themselves as the problem for poor staff performance. They prefer to point to external reasons to justify someones behavior or poor performance.

So why are three fingers pointed back at me?

Managers that act like managers will never motivate staff to do their best. As Covey stated in his book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, managers manage things. If you manage people like objects or extensions of machines, you get just that.

“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”


― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The rising excuse is I don’t have the time to deal with it properly. Which is paradoxical in nature because by not taking the time, your are really creating more work/problems in the future. People require a time commitment.

Trends are improving as more business leaders realize that engaged employees have a direct relationship to not only the bottom-line, but to customer satisfaction levels.


The percentage who are “actively disengaged” — workers who have miserable work experiences — is now at its lowest level (13%), making the current ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees 2.6-to-1 — the highest ever in Gallup tracking. These findings are based on a random sample of 30,628 full- and part-time U.S. employees working for an employer from January to June 2018.
The remaining 53% of workers are in the “not engaged” category. They may be generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer.

Gallup: https://news.gallup.com/poll/241649/employee-engagement-rise.aspx

Over half are still not engaged in your operation and although the ratio of “actively disengaged” is improving, there are still a good number that are literally sabotaging your operation.

What do you do?

Step One

Ask your self good questions. Questions like:

  • What are the things that I am doing/saying that are contributing to the disengagement?
  • Am I “dealing with” the staff members or am I “engaging” them?
  • Am I engaged? (It is amazing how much of your engagement is reflected back in the performance of your staff.)

Step Two

Look at the BS Rules in the Organization.

What are BS Rules?

They are those rules that were put in place for a very good reason at one time and have continued BUT no one knows for sure why they are there and are justified by a made up story that sounds true or written off as, we have always done it that way.


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

As leaders, we need to examine these rules and ask ourselves if they are serving any purpose. Have they expired and is it time to create new ones that will move us forward and engage our staff in the process?

Here is one BS Rule you might not have thought about. Management and Union sit on opposite sides of the table. What would happen if we mixed it up? What possibly could go right?

Do the rules align with the core values of the organization?


80% of employees felt more engaged when their work was consistent with the core values and mission of their organization. (IBM)

Step Three

Is your vision and mission statements clear and concise?

If the front-line, on the floor staff member can’t recite it word for word, then how do you expect them to follow it? Or for that matter, share it with new staff members.

Every organization/business should have a vision and mission statement, along with a list of the core values that the organization will operate from. They are not hard to build. In fact, if you are in the process of building one in the board room without front-line staff involved, you are going down the wrong path.

If you are finding it difficult narrowing it down, you might find that your current leaders are also not understanding what business they are in and possible running your operation their way. Another symptom of unclear statements.

Step Four

Engage the staff. Find opportunities to involve them in the day to day. Share information both good news and bad. Help them understand the situations. Invite diversity into the boardrooms. Stop thinking you have to have all the answers. You might be surprised what suggestions come from the floor that you never thought of.


Employees who feel their voice is heard at work are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. (Salesforce)

Little efforts pay off big time. Get in the habit of saying a genuine ‘Thank you‘ more. Find ways to celebrate successes or when you reach milestones.

Engagement takes work. Hard work with huge dividends. Probably the hardest of all thing in operating an organization or business.

As a leadership coach, the one question I get often is, “how do I deal with all the personalities and drama?”

There is not enough time in this post and a great subject for the an up coming one. Make sure you subscribe so that you will be able to see the upcoming posts.

What to discuss this further and how I maybe be able to help with engagement in your organization, click the link below to connect with me or drop me an email (fourhatscoaching@gmail.com)

What are your thoughts about engagement in the workplace?

Got any tips?

Thanks for dropping by!

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