Making All Employees Belong

Making All Employees Belong

“Average managers play checkers…while great managers play chess.

In checkers, all the pieces are uniform and move in the same way. You need to plan their movements, but they all move on parallel paths.

In chess, each type of piece moves in a different way, and you can’t play if you don’t know how each piece moves. More important, you won’t win if you don’t think carefully about how you move the pieces.”

Marcus Buckingham – First, Break All the Rules


Take a look at this quote. On the face of it, it would seem to be fair to give everyone the same-size shoe. What could be fairer? Unfortunately, not everyone has the same size feet.  It’s also true of managing, you could try to manage everyone in exactly the same way. On the face of it, it seems as if nothing could be fairer. But managing every employee in the same way is like giving every employee the same-size shoes.  Managers need to have self-awareness and they also need to be able to understand the needs of others.  Organizations need to keep their people engaged so they can live up to their full potential.


Predictive Index conducted a survey of over 5,000 professionals in order to understand the behaviors of effective and ineffective managers.

  • 58% Don’t communicate clear expectations
  • 57% Play favorites
  • 55% Don’t show concern for career and personal development


Self-Awareness Defined


There are two components to self-awareness:

  • Awareness of one’s own drives, needs, and behaviors
  • Awareness of how one’s styles impact others

Ask them, “What do you think I can do better working with you?” It can be very helpful to collaborate on these insights to find ways to work together that will be supportive. The strategies suggested here provide opportunities to have discussions that might not happen otherwise.


PI’s research has identified four active forces working against us that block organizations from achieving great results.

  1. Job Fit: If someone isn’t a good fit to their job, that can pull them down every day struggling to meet the requirements of the job.
  2. Manager: If someone’s manager doesn’t know how to meet their needs, that can be very disengaging.
  3. Team: If the team dynamics are off, or if the team doesn’t understand the work, it can pull them down.
  4. Culture: If the organization isn’t listening to the employees and never tries to address issues that arise, that can be very disengaging.

Establish what an engaged employee looks/acts like and why it is in an organization’s best interest to foster engagement.


Let’s compare with an engaged person.


How do you recognize them?

  • Go above and beyond
  • Care about the quality of their work
  • Stay late and arrive early

What could be the business results of having a lot of employees like that?

  • Higher productivity
  • Lower turnover
  • Innovation and goal achievement


When these four forces are done right:


  • If someone is placed into a job that fits them
  • They have a self-aware manager that manages them based on what they need
  • A team that understands its own team dynamics
  • An organization that addresses problems
  • Thoughtfully utilizes their skills and develops them

Imagine the power that could bring!  The forces of disengagement become the forces of engagement.


Marty Ramseck, Talent Optimization Advisor – PI Midlantic

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