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12

The Elements of Great Managing

By Rodd Wagner & James K. Harter, PhD
13-minute read
Audio available
12: The Elements of Great Managing by  Rodd Wagner & James K. Harter, PhD

12 (2006) crunches the data from millions of surveys conducted by Gallup, Inc. to distil the essence of what makes employees happy, and why happy workers are good for business. If you’re searching for practical solutions for improving employee relations and the quality of managers, look no further.

  • Managers struggling with employee engagement
  • Readers interested in motivational techniques
  • Employees everywhere

Rodd Wagner is an advisor to business executives around the world, helping them improve performance and efficiency. A former principal at Gallup, Inc., he is the author of the book Widget: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They're Real People.

James K. Harter, PhD, is the Chief Scientist of Workplace Management at Gallup, Inc. and a researcher whose work has appeared in over a thousand published studies. He is also a contributor to the New York Times and Harvard Business Review.

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12

The Elements of Great Managing

By Rodd Wagner & James K. Harter, PhD
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
12: The Elements of Great Managing by  Rodd Wagner & James K. Harter, PhD
Synopsis

12 (2006) crunches the data from millions of surveys conducted by Gallup, Inc. to distil the essence of what makes employees happy, and why happy workers are good for business. If you’re searching for practical solutions for improving employee relations and the quality of managers, look no further.

Key idea 1 of 8

There are many reasons for managers and businesses to cultivate happy employees.

Talk to any manager and they’ll tell you that one of the hardest parts of the job is keeping all of their employees happy and productive.

To help identify the best management techniques, and the reasons they work so well, Gallup, Inc. conducted millions of surveys with managers and employees. The following information is the result of years of work investigating what really motivates employees.

One of the most significant and apparent findings is that happy employees are good for business. They show up to work more often and they’re less prone to quitting, all of which saves the employer time and money.

More precisely, employees who were positive about their work had a 27-percent higher attendance rate than others. These are the people you want on your payroll. Otherwise, you’ll be paying the same for less time spent at work, which is, of course, bad for business.

The data also showed that unhappy or disengaged employees are 31 percent more likely to quit their job, and that finding a suitable replacement costs significant time and money – especially when the position requires highly specialized skills. So if you lose a chemical engineer or an elevator mechanic – people with unique talents – it’ll be difficult and costly to find a replacement.

Perhaps more surprising is that happy employees are also less likely to have accidents on the job.

Many jobs come with the risk of injury. If you work for a shipping company, for instance, you might get hurt loading a truck. What makes happy workers less prone to injury is their engagement and focus. Since they like what they’re doing, they pay attention to it. And that means they’re less likely to get careless.

Gallup found that those in the bottom quarter of the happiness index suffered 62 percent more injuries than those in the top quarter.

Clearly, it’s mutually beneficial for both employees and companies to have a work environment that promotes happiness. In the blinks that follow, we’ll take a closer look at how to foster such an environment.

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