The Management Mentality That’s Killing Your Team

ineffective managerHaving specialized in management training and leadership development for many years now, it’s not uncommon to encounter this sentiment from some in the management community:

“In this economy these people should just be happy they have a job.”

Sadly there are those charged with leadership responsibilities that operate from the position that just being employed is itself a privilege. The history of work in our country certainly includes generations where this was true- in the past it was a privilege just to have a job and the means to provide for a family.

But times have changed. All that we now know about employee engagement cautions us to weed out this kind of thinking. Why? Because this mentality prevents that manager from ever pursuing those elements that lead to actively engaged employees.

This way of thinking is supportive of a “warm-body” mentality: any worker will do…just rehire and replace  At a fundamental level this leads to the total absence of the conditions that retain talented workers.

What these managers fail to understand is that it’s important to create an environment that people want to come to every day. When employees go to work and feel valued, they thrive. When given the opportunity to develop further, work autonomously, and contribute, they are more likely to stay and perform. Managers need to create the kind of environment at work that employees want to be a part of if they are ever going to produce the kind of results customers, stakeholders, and organizational leaders expect.

Believing that employees should simply show up, do their job, don’t complain, and be thankful they get to come back tomorrow is toxic. It’s antiquated, command-and-control thinking that is harmful to employees, teams and organizations. It leads to an environment where employees might rarely experience motivation and the desire to invest effort or interest.

It’s time to challenge those with this mentality to shift their thinking. Otherwise they may not be cut out for leadership positions in today’s workplace.

Joe Mull, M.Ed. is President of Ally Training & Development, which provides leadership development, management training, and staff development programs to healthcare providers. He is the author of Cure for the Common Leader: What Physicians & Managers Must Do to Engage & Inspire Healthcare Teams which is available on For more info on Joe visit

3 thoughts on “The Management Mentality That’s Killing Your Team

  1. I agree completely. Just as in ANY other human relationship, employees need to feel valued,respected and appreciated. When bosses figure that out and apply it, they will have appreciated, willing, interested employees. Everyone will come to work interested and engaged.

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