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Editor at Large

Engagement, personal accountability and the sort-of-almighty paycheck

Here's looking at you ... in the matter of engaging, inspiring and challenging employees.
Here's looking at you ... in the matter of engaging, inspiring and challenging employees.

Engagement of employees is all the sage these days – with seemingly everyone weighing in on the management philosophy.

It’s why I posted on LinkedIn a comment wondering what happened to simply working hard in return for a paycheck – personal accountability, in other words.

Are those days gone? Is it all about inspiring – dare I say coddling? – employees?

I also wrote that I didn’t think a manager can coach a good attitude in people.

Response to the post was mixed.

“Big difference between a company leader inspiring employees to buy in to the mission and providing them the tools they need to succeed and coddling them. I’m a big believer in the former,” wrote Andrew Stanten, president of Altitude Marketing in Emmaus. “The latter does nothing to help the company or the employee.

“You can work on someone’s communication styles and attitude, but what you can’t do is teach fire in the belly – that extra something that drives an individual to want to consistently give 110 percent, not for the check, but because that is how that individual is wired.”

Agreed. Fire in the belly is a great indicator of how someone will fare.

Holly Wolf of Solo Laboratories in Kutztown noted that personal accountability is a factor but she also thinks it’s a function of how employees are treated.

“Many people have seen their peers or parents, who are dedicated and committed employees, lose their jobs because of M&A or cost-cutting measure,” wrote Wolf, who is director of customer engagement at Solo. “The peer or child says, ‘He gave everything for the job and what did he get in return?’ A paycheck, of course, but his loyalty meant nothing.”

Been there, Holly. Another excellent point.

As is this from Mike Drabenstott, president of Lehigh Valley-based Drabenstott Communications Group, who wrote that good employees do not want to be coddled.

“They want a stimulating workplace where they can contribute, grow and feel like they’re part of a team,” he wrote. “With how difficult it is now to find and keep good talent, employers need to do more (read: engage) because of the cost and energy required to recruit and train new people.

“If you have employees who just show up for a paycheck, they will leave for a bigger one. You need to give them more than money.”

I suppose it all comes down to good hiring, strong orientation and training, and keeping employees challenged and inspired. You know, the ways that managers earn their paychecks.


-- I still think the Sixers can make the NBA finals this year.

-- Been thinking for a while that judges have gained too much power, striking down laws where they have no business getting involved. And get his: A federal judge recently ruled that President Trump can’t block people on his Twitter feed. Does that mean any public official – district attorney, council member, school board director – must follow the same idiotic ruling, that followers can disparage the official and his family all they want, without being blocked? This is no place for a judge or the law to be. It’s a matter for Twitter.

-- Doing the math, Vegas Golden Knights fans had to suffer through a grand total of 234 days of sweat, blood and beers before reaching their first Stanley Cup final. Meanwhile, Flyers fans have been waiting 15,710 days for another Stanley Cup title.

-- Speaking of Las Vegas, a church there last weekend presented the all-time greatest selection of songs at a single service – not including Masses during Advent, of course. The Roman Catholic Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer, where I went to atone for my gambling losses, trotted out “Hail Holy Queen,” “Amazing Grace,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and, since it was Memorial Day weekend, “America the Beautiful.” … Beautiful, indeed.

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