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December 12, 2006

The Elements of 12 ELEMENTS

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Following through on my 12 ELEMENTS tease, I’m sharing the worthiness of each element. To showcase each element’s worthiness, I’ll be using The Ehrenfeld Principle.

The Ehrenfeld Principle? That’s my name for something I learned from business writer Tom Ehrenfeld at the recent 800 CEO READ Author Pow-Wow. During one of the sessions, Tom outlined his "WHAT? | SO WHAT? | PROVE IT!" system to identify effective business writing.

The WHAT? is the content. The SO WHAT? is why the content matters. And the PROVE IT! provides the credibility.

Real quick, the backstory on 12 ELEMENTS is … it’s a newly published book from Gallup that explores the importance of why managers should manage their employees to be more engaged, motivated, and committed at work. Authors Rodd Wagner and James Harter detail 12 crucial elements of managing that influence employee performance.


ELEMENT #1
What?
Great managers are able to effectively define and communicate what is expected of his/her direct reports.

So What?
At best, 50% of employees strongly agree they know exactly what is expected of them on the job.

Prove It!
Gallup research indicates when employees know what is expected of them, their productivity increases anywhere from 5-to-10% and a 10-to-20% reduction in on-the-job accidents occurs.


ELEMENT #2
What?
Great managers provide their direct reports with the tools and resources they need to get the job done in expert fashion.

So What?
Only 33% of employees strongly agree they have been given the tools and resources to expertly get their job done.

Prove It!
Gallup research indicates employees are more productive and more engaged at work when they have the tools and resources to perform.


ELEMENT #3

What?
Great managers provide opportunities for their direct reports to succeed by either matching the right person with the right position and/or by shaping a job description to better match the natural talents of an employee.

So What?
67% of employees fail to strongly agree they have been given the opportunity to perform their jobs to the best of their ability.

Prove It!
Gallup research indicates when businesses provide employees the opportunities to maximize their natural talents, employee engagement at work increases 33% resulting in significant gains in a company’s productivity.


ELEMENT #4

What?
Great managers consistently give their direct reports prompt feedback and positive recognition.

So What?
Employees are two-times as likely to say they will leave their current company in the next year if they do not receive adequate recognition. Additionally, employees who report not receiving adequate recognition/feedback are more likely to feel as though they are underpaid.

Prove It!
Gallup research indicates companies are able increase productivity and revenue when employees report receiving prompt feedback and positive recognition.


ELEMENT #5

What?
Great managers take a personal interest in the employees they manage.

So What?
Companies can experience 22-to-37% higher turnover rates when employees believe their manager treats them as just a number.

Prove It!
Gallup research has continually showed a direct correlation between employees feeling as though they are not cared about and employee resignations.


ELEMENT #6

What?
Great managers actively encourage the development of their direct reports.

So What?
Nearly 40% of employees believe no one in their company is encouraging their professional development. Plus, statistics indicate employees have an unwritten workplace expectation of having a mentor to help them in their development.

Prove It!
Gallup research indicates employee on-the-job engagement is higher when employees have someone in the company actively encouraging their development.


ELEMENT #7

What?
Great managers are receptive to hearing ideas and opinions from their direct reports.

So What?
About 50% of employees who say their company is receptive to hearing their opinions report they are able to deliver very creative ideas while on the job.

Prove It!
Gallup studies reveal when employee-generated ideas are accepted and implemented, the commitment level to executing these ideas from employees is higher than normal.


ELEMENT #8

What?
Great managers are able to connect their direct reports to the mission of the company resulting in employees feeling their job is important.

So What?
Project teams that are mission-driven report 15-to-30% lower turnover rates.

Prove It!
According to Gallup research, trust-level in the decisions of upper-manager increases, less on-the-job conflict happens, and greater commitments to getting the job done occurs when employees feel a direct connection exists between their job and the mission of the company.


ELEMENT #9

What?
Great managers inspire commitment to doing quality work with their direct reports and they have the backbone to cut their losses once an employee is identified as being a slacker.

So What?
67% of employees fail to strongly agree that their co-workers are committed to doing quality work.

Prove It!
Gallup research indicates one of the most damaging befalls of any project group happens when a slacker mentality erodes the spirit of team members wanting their group to succeed.


ELEMENT #10

What?
Great managers understand the importance of and encourage the practice of their direct reports developing best friend relationships at work.

So What?
Slightly less than one of every three employees strongly agrees they have formed a best friend relationship with someone at work.

Prove It!
Gallup has a preponderance of data indicating trust between employees increases, employee engagement increases, employee performance increases, camaraderie between employees increases, and employee happiness increases when workers report having a best friend on the job.


ELEMENT #11

What?
Great managers proactively arrange and discuss performance evaluations with their direct reports.

So What?
When employees are not given performance evaluations in a timely and consistent manner, they are more likely to believe their company’s compensation system is unfair.

Prove It!
Gallup research indicates employees are more likely to believe they are compensated fairly when their manager gives them regular performance reviews. Additionally, employees who receive regular performance reviews tend to stay with the company longer and are twice as likely to tell others that their company is a great place to work.


ELEMENT #12

What?
Great managers provide their direct reports with opportunities to learn and grow.

So What?
Employees work harder and more efficiently when they feel as though their company has given them opportunities to learn and grow.

Prove It!
Gallup has amassed countless studies proving when employees are challenged to grow within their position, on-the-job performance increases.



So … the pathway to becoming a Great Manager has been outlined within these 12 ELEMENTS. Yeah, easier said (and written) than done. But with so many different management guidebooks providing so many different views on becoming a great manager, I find these 12 ELEMENTS to be the most simple, concrete, and actionable for someone to follow.

I encourage you to read 12 ELEMENTS and become inspired to reach Great Manager status. After all, every one of us plays a role in the virtuous cycle where one great manager begets another great manager and so on.

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» The Ehrenfeld Principle from 800-CEO-READ Blog
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Comments

Okay, so it took till December 12, but my year has certainly been made. Thanks John!

And by the way, this book does look terrific. I've begun to make my way through it.

I've been using Gallup's Q12 for over 5 years as a "report card" for grading myself. It's been perceived by my employees as their "time to grade the boss" activity. While I don't always like what the numbers tell me, it sure keeps me on my toes and more importantly, lets me know which employees need more resources.

I just unwrapped the book, 12, and a quick scan tells me that each chapter goes into more detail that what I previously knew, plus there are now 10 million responses to Gallup's Q12. Quite impressive. I'll give a report after I read the book.

I just finished reading 12 and went looking online for more info when I found your post. Your "What? So what? Prove it!" approach is just what I was looking for. It sets the stage for a fourth paragraph "How does that apply to me?"

Thanks!

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