The Workforce Engagement Equation: A Practitioner’s Guide to Creating and Sustaining High Performance, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Workforce Engagement Equation

A Practitioner’s Guide to Creating and Sustaining High Performance, 1st Edition

By Jamison J. Manion

Productivity Press

590 pages | 70 B/W Illus.

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The Workforce Engagement Equation is for the hands-on leaders engaged in the frontline of affecting change—those who bear the scars of past failed initiatives yet continue to persevere. Describing the science behind the "Art of Managing" process improvement, it will help you bridge the gap between strategy and tactics and allow you to take concrete action to control ongoing operations sustainably.

This step-by-step guide lays out the principles, tools, and techniques that have proven effective in leading and managing the "people side" of process improvement. The book demystifies the complexity of organizational change with easy-to-understand explanations, intuitive graphics, and real-world examples. Filled with helpful practical knowledge, such as the Seven Cardinal Sins of Change Leadership, it will help you assess exactly where your organization is along the change continuum and what actions will help propel your organization to higher levels of organizational effectiveness.

  • Presents methods that can be applied in any organization and situation
  • Supplies guidance on how to build systems and implement performance metrics
  • Offers solutions to real-world problems
  • Integrates powerful concepts from multiple disciplines

Aiding your ability to select and apply effective management and leadership techniques that will work best in your situation, The Workforce Engagement Equation provides you with the tools to make a difference in the performance of your organization and the engagement of your workforce. To help you construct your own organizational vessel and navigate the murky waters of organizational change, the text includes a CD with each assessment, form, template, and example project plan contained in the book.

Table of Contents

The Great Seattle Fire: An Analogy for Our Times

Fire and Mud in the Twenty-First Century

Leadership Is a Choice—Rise Up, You Worthy Bastards, and Follow Me!

Seven Cardinal Sins of Change Leadership: Seven Reasons Why Things Don’t Change

1. The Status Quo Exists to Serve the Status Quo

2. Saying Isn’t Doing: I’m an "Idea Man"

3. Frequent Turnover: Manager of the Month

4. Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic: Majoring on the Minors

5. Lack of Holistic Solutions: The Operation Was a Success but the Patient Died

6. Failure to Stay the Course: Are We There Yet?

7. Attention Deficit Management: Dismantling What Works

Don’t Abandon Hope—There Is a Solution

Stages of Organizational Development

Intuitive Assessment of Group Developmental Stages

Parallel Paths—Group Development and Project Management

Stage 1—Forming: Preparing for the Voyage and Assembling the Crew

Overview and Assessment: Forming

Assessing Where You Are or Where You Want to Go

Analysis: Forming

Assembling the Crew

Forming Element 1: Setting a Clear Vision for the Organization

Setting a Course: Leading Your Way to Higher Performance—Value Proposition

Building a Sustainability Engine—Part 1: Forming

Forming Element 2: Senior Leadership Involvement

Appropriate Delegation of Authority

Project Charters

Team Charters and Organizational Stages

Purpose of the Team Charter during Focusing

Purpose of the Team Charter during Committing

Purpose of the Team Charter during Sustaining Performance

Purpose of the Team Charter during Renewal

Forming Element 3: Resource Allocation and Strategic Staffing

Dual Staffing Plan (Team "P" and Team "F")

Essential Framework of Teams

Forming Element 4: Climate of Trust, Mutual Respect, and Mutual Success

Role of Communications in Building Trust

Opening the Johari Windows

Shifting Boxes

Opening Windows

Forming Element 5: Team Members and the Team Leader Know and Value Each Other’s Styles, Strengths, and Preferences

Self-Awareness: DISC—Personality Temperaments and Preferences

Behavioral-Based Model of Temperaments and Preferences

Observable Traits of DISC Styles

Quick and Dirty DISC Assessment

"D"—Dominant: Entrepreneurs, Adventurers, and Change Agents

Communicating with a "D"

Potential Blind Spots and Weaknesses of "D"s

Motivation for "D"s

"I"—Influencer: Politicians, Social Directors, and Entertainers

Introversion as Compared to Extroversion

Motivation for "I"s

Potential Blind Spots and Weaknesses of "I"s

"S"—Sustainer: Administrators, Mediators, and Counselors

Potential Blind Spots and Weaknesses of "S"s

Communicating with "S"s

"C"—Conscientious: Scientists, Engineers, and Accountants

Potential Blind Spots and Limitations of "C"s

Natural versus Adapted Behaviors

DISC Space

General Guidelines for Working with DISC Temperaments

Working with Dominant Personality Types—"D"s

Working with Influencing Personality Types—"I"s

Working with Sustaining Personality Types—"S"s

Working with Conscientious Personality Types—"C"s

DISC at a Glance

DISC Temperaments and Team Strengths

Focus on Strengths, Not Limitations

Forming Element 6: Leaders Set the Tone for Effective, Open, and Inclusive Communication

Hidden Agendas

Situational Approaches to Leadership

Understanding the Leadership Styles

Leadership Determinants

Effective and Ineffective Demonstration of Leadership Styles

Quick and Dirty Leadership Self-Assessment

How You See Yourself as Compared to How You Are Seen by Others

Adapting Leadership Styles to Individual Needs

Leadership by Default

DISC Temperament Effects on Leadership Tendencies

"D": Dominating/Directing

"I": Influencing/Problem Solving

"S": Sustaining/Developing

"C": Conscientious

Hijacked Leadership and Best Intentions

Leadership Styles and Rewards

Avoid Being a Bottom Feeder

Individual Emotional Responses to Change

Forming Element 7: Communications Are Planned, Deliberate, and Broad Reaching

Principles of Communication

Communications Process

Developing a Strategic Communications Plan

Communications and Feedback: More Is Better

Provide Regular Updates on Organizational Progress

Sneaking the Camel in under the Tent

Keeping It Consistent versus Keeping It Fresh


Forming Element 8: Clear Behavioral Norms Are Established and Broadly Observed

Team Ground Rules

Enforcing the Ground Rules

Forming Element 9: Meetings Are Well Planned, and Prior Notice Is Provided

Planning for a Meeting

Forming Element 10: Meetings Are Well Run, Structured, and Productive

Required Roles for Effective Meetings

Conducting Meetings Following the Cyclical Communications Process

Key Takeaways: Forming—Preparing for the Voyage

Forming Project Plan

Stage 2—Focusing: Establishing the Ship’s Routine

Overview and Assessment: Moving from Forming to Focusing

Focusing Assessment

Analysis: Focusing versus Stumbling

Focusing Element 1: The Vision, Mission, and Values of the Organization Are Clearly Defined and Articulated

Strategies Compared to Tactics

Strategy Maps and Logic Models

Outcome-Driven Strategy Maps

Process-Driven Strategy Maps (Logic Models)

Disaggregating the Mission and Vision into Strategy and Tactics

Building a Vessel of Organizational Success

Focusing Element 2: Well-Defined and Functioning Systems

Introductions to Systems Thinking

Manual versus Automatic Systems

Management Operating Systems

Principles of Systems Design

Flowcharting Systems Made Easy

From Strategy Maps to Process Steps: Peeling Back the Layers of Systems

Installing the Process Sustainability Engine into the Vessel of Organizational Success

Focusing Element 3: Significant Involvement of the Crew

Two Parables of Engagement

The Chicken Is Involved

River of Commitment

Focusing Element 4: Well-Defined Organizational Structure

Disaggregation of Strategies into Goals and Roles

Primary Reasons Organization’s Work below Their Strategic


DISC Impacts on Delegation and Trust

The Time Horizon—Keeping It between the Two Ditches

The Lasting Impact of Failed Change Initiatives

Example: Defining Roles, Time Horizons, and Responsibilities

"To Be" as Compared to "As Is"

Focusing Element 5: Gaining Commitment and Alignment of Individual Tasks and Goals

Example of Defining Individual Roles and Responsibilities

Framework of Effective Individual Success (Steps 1–5)

Fall Points and Communications

Behavioral Responses Essential to Eliminating Fall Points

Detailed Analysis of Fall Points

Focusing Element 6: Develop Goals, Action Plans, and KPIs


Cumulative Goal Development

Goal Consistency

Focusing Element 7: Effective Leadership toward Problem Solving

Adaptive Leadership and Problem Solving

Focusing Element 8: Organizational Problem Solving

Driving and Restraining Organizational Forces

Avoiding Being Martyred for the Cause by Ignoring the "Sacred Cows" and 800-lb "Gorillas"

Choosing a Vehicle: The All Purpose Tool—Using the Crescent Hammer

Problem Recognition and Definition


Use of Brainstorming

Decision Analysis Criteria

Leadership and Problem Solving

The Second Difference Separating Leaders and Martyrs

Focusing Element 9: Tactical Interpersonal Communication and Feedback

Rules of Engagement in Support of Team Ground Rules

Speak for Yourself and Speak of What You Know to Be Fact

Focusing Element 10: Healthy Attitude about Conflict

Building Bridges before the Flood—Laying the Foundation Conducive to Managing Conflict

Understanding the Sources of Conflict

Conflict Arising from Change

Emotional Responses to Change

Factors Affecting the Difficulty of Change

Conflict Arising from Goal Disparity and Limited Resources

Responses to Conflict—Reactionary versus Deliberate

The Emotional Response—A Tale of Two Roses

Emotional, Cognitive, and Physiological Behavioral Drivers

Habituated Responses


Five Response Options to Conflict

Strategic Conflict Choices

Compete—Desire to Please Self Stronger than the Desire to Please the Other

Accommodate—Desire to Please Other Stronger than the Desire to Please Self

Collaborate—Strong Desire to Please Self and Equal Desire to Please the Other

Avoid/Withdraw—Low Desire to Please Other and Unwillingness to Engage for Self

Compromise—Willingness to Accept Less for the Sake of the Relationship or to Move Forward

Temperament, Desire to Please Self versus Desire to Please Others

Conflicts and the Balance of Power

Thoughtful Reactions to Conflict

Compelling Behavior through Persuasion or through Manipulation

Ground Rules to Consider that Promote a Healthy Approach to Conflict

Leadership Necessary to Create a Healthy Organizational Climate

When to Revisit Forming

Key Takeaways: Focusing versus Stumbling

Focusing Project Plan

Stage 3—Committing: Building Speed

Overview and Assessment: Committing versus Fragmenting

Analysis: Committing versus Fragmenting

Hope, Control, and Equity

Inclusion, Purpose, and Congruence

Committing Element 1: High Degree of Congruence between

Individual and Organizational Values and Working Approach

Alignment between Individual and Organizational Values and Goals

Freedom to Act—Be Careful What You Wish for: Do You

Really Want Engagement?

The Engagement Model of the United States Military

Environmental Incongruence: "Planting Seeds in Bleach"

Individual Indicators of Incongruence

Organizational Indicators

Balancing the Workforce Engagement Equation

Committing Element 2: Structured Approach to Training and Qualifications

The Five Spheres of Individual Competence

Principles of Training Every Manager Should Know

Training Is Not the Goal of "Training"

Will versus Skill

Setting Clear Expectation through the Use of Training Checklists

Training Checklists

The DACUM Process

Minimizing Generational Competency Decay

Principles of Learning: Systems Thinking

Principles of Learning: Memory

Outcomes of Utilizing a Structured Approach to Training and Qualifications

Committing Element 3: Team Members Have and Keep Faith with Their Teams

To Be Trusted, You Must First Be Trustworthy

Timely and Complete Communications

Deliver on Commitments

Admit Mistakes

Committing Element 4: Performance Feedback Is Appropriate and Timely

Avoid the "But" Sandwich

The Odometer in the Trunk

Leading versus Lagging Indicators

Committing Element 5: Leaders Are Engaged and Act as Mentors

The Role of Mentor

Committing Element 6: Strong Leadership and Appropriate Delegation of Authority

Span of Control

Triggers and Limits of Authority

Factors Affecting Ability and Motivation

The Four Factors Governing Ability

The Four Factors Determining Motivation

The Seeds of Confusion Inherent within Matrixed Organizations

Importance of the Chain of Command

United States Army Organizational Structure

Strengths of an Organizational Chain of Command

Effective Mentor to Mentee Ratio

Effective Cascading Communications

Effective Accountability

"Somebody" Will Do It—A Parable for Our Times

Defining an Effective Chain of Command

Problems Created by Bypassing Up the Chain of Command

Problems Created by Bypassing Down the Chain of Command

Strong Leadership Stemming from a Strong Chain of Command: The Buck Stops Here

Committing Element 7: Individuals and Teams Hold Themselves Accountable

Creating an Environment of Logical Consequences

Mediocrity for the Sake of Harmony

Committing Element 8: Individual and Intraorganizational Alignment and Collaboration

Progression toward "Teamness"

Nonteam Players

Free Riders

Courageous Leadership: Intervention

Incenting the Wrong Behaviors

Committing Element 9: The Organization Lives Its Values with Integrity

Motivation Matters, but It Only Goes So Far

The Paper Mill versus the Saw Mill—The Expectation of Pain

Is Often More Tolerable than the Pain of Expectation

Market Norms versus Social Norms

False Engagement through Manipulation

Committing Element 10: Well-Defined Group Identity and Esprit de Corps

The Power of Symbols

Key Takeaways: Committing versus Fragmenting

Stage 4—Sustained Performance: Smooth Sailing

Overview and Assessment: Sustained versus Variable Performance

Analysis: Sustained versus Variable Performance

Sustaining Isn’t Leveling

Sustaining Element 1: Ongoing Validation of Customer and Stakeholder Requirements and Satisfaction

Nothing Fails Like Success

Ongoing Determination of Customer/Stakeholder Requirements and Satisfaction

Sustaining Element 2: Ongoing Goal Setting and Revision

Shifting Responsibilities from Team "F" to Team "P"

Shifting Roles by Playing to Peoples’ Strengths

Sustaining Element 3: Availability and Use of Documentation for Systems and Procedures

Written Documentation to Augment Training Checklists

Prioritization of Documentation Requirements

Documentation Is Readily Accessible and Regularly Used

Procedures Need to Be Sufficiently Detailed

Sustaining Element 4: Proactive Problem Solving, Decision Making Scope and Impact

The Overconfidence Trap

The Groupthink Trap

The Inflexible View of Reality Trap

Traditional Change Management versus Improvisational Change

Sequences of Improvisational Change

Sustaining Element 5: Ongoing Communications and Reporting

Life in the Clouds—The Executive Fogbank

Sustaining Element 6: Continuous Balanced View of Process Outcomes

Avoiding Organizational Pinball: Reactive Management

Avoiding "The Plan": The Need for Accurate Information

Organizational Dashboards and Balanced Scorecards

Course Corrections while Sailing into the Wind

Sustaining Element 7: Ongoing Control of Vendors and Suppliers

Sustaining Element 8: Utilization of Lean Concepts, 5S, and Visual Management

Overview of Lean Concepts

5S and Visual Management

Value Stream Mapping

Sustaining Element 9: Control of Nonconforming Products and Services

Defined Decision Authority

Documentation of Final Disposition of Nonconforming

Products and Services

Sustaining Element 10: Balance of Challenge and Support through Rewards, Opportunities, and Consequences

Equitable Rewards and Opportunities

Drivers of Variable Performance

The Hawthorne Effect

Learned Helplessness: The Organizational Cost of Program of the Month

The Dog in the Box: A Thought Experiment

Logical Consequences: Keeping It between the Ditches

Establishing Logical Consequences through Challenging and Support

Breaking through the Wall of Complacency; Leading Sheep and Driving Goats

Subtle and Not So Subtle Sabotage

Situation Analysis: Understanding When to Lead and When to Drive

Is It a Matter of Will or Skill and Who Is Responsible, the Individual or the Organization?

All Behavior Is Rewarding on Some Level

Behavior and the Law of Demand

Indifference Curves

Performance Contracting: Setting Clear Expectations and Logical Consequences

Avoiding "Democratic Ass Kickings"—Not Firing Blindly into the Flock

Action Planning: Preparing to Confront a Goat

In Defense of Goats—Don’t Cull Them All

Benefits of Goats over Sheep: Goats Can Flourish Where Sheep Cannot

Key Takeaways: Sustained versus Variable Performance

Navigating out of Variable Performance

Stage 5: Renewal—Refitting and Redeploying

Overview and Assessment: Renewal versus Leveling

Analysis: Renewal versus Leveling

Renewal Element 1: Celebration and Recognition of Organizational and Individual Success

Cost Does Not Always Equate to Value

Avoiding Mandatory Fun Events

Celebrations Aren’t the End—They Are Transitions

Renewal Element 2: Organizational Commitment to Continuous Improvement

Defining How High Is Up: Benchmarking and Theoretical Constraints

Six Sigma: How the Best Get Better

A 60,000-Foot View of Six Sigma

Three Limits of Six Sigma

Six Sigma Is Not a Substitute for Effective Management

Could Be Better Can Be the Enemy of Good Enough

Six Sigma Won’t Lead to Revolutionary Discoveries—Only Incremental Improvement

The Big "C" in DMAIC: Control and ROI

Simple ROI

Net Present Value

Economic Value Added

Standardize and Be Consistent with ROI Calculations

Renewal Element 3: Ongoing Audits, Records Review, and Change Notifications

The Temptation of Inconvenient Truths

The Importance of Customer Feedback

Timely Process Change Notifications

Information Not Acted upon Is as Useless as No Information at All

Renewal Element 4: Relevant Not Robotic Meetings with Attendance for Impact and Development

Meetings after the Meetings

Meeting Attendance for Communications, Impact, and Developmental Opportunities

Renewal Element 5: Impactful Performance Review and Reward Systems

Impactful Performance Reviews

Impactful Performance Reviews Are Timely

Impactful Performance Reviews Are Specific

Equitable Performance Reviews

Application of Negative Consequences—Progressive Discipline

Shared Fortunes—A Rising Tide Shouldn’t Swamp the Little Boats

Renewal Element 6: Developmental and Promotional Opportunities

Renewal Element 7: Training Remains a Strategic Priority that Builds and Maintains Line of Sight

The Absence of Leaders Undermines the Training

Renewal Element 8: Holistic and Integrated Training Design

TCLs Aren’t Just for Nonexempt Positions

Renewal Element 9: Effective Preemployment Screening and Structured New Hire Orientation

The Architects of Your Organization’s Future if Left to Chance

Shifting from Box to Box

Architects of Your Organization’s Future When Not Left to Chance

Use of the TCL throughout the Employee Lifecycle

Use of the TCL for Hiring—Decision Analysis

The Use of the TCL in Orientation: Satisfying the Individual Needs of Forming

The Use of the TCL in Orientation: Effective Use of the Probationary Period

The Use of the TCL in Competency Development: Satisfying the Individual Needs of Focusing

The Use of the TCL in Promotion to Next Level: Satisfying the Individual Needs of Committing

The Use of the TCL in Annual Performance Reviews: Satisfying the Individual Needs of Sustaining

The Use of the TCL in Management of Change: Satisfying the Individual Needs for Renewal

The TCL Is the Vehicle—Effective Trainers Are the Drivers

Renewal Element 10: Proactive Succession Planning and Mentoring

Growth of Successful Leaders: Know Yourself, Know Your Business, and Know Your People

To Be Successful You Need Four Things

Success Factor 1: Professional Competence

Success Factor 2: Emotional Intelligence

Success Factor 3: Opportunity

Providing Opportunities through Structured Succession Planning

Success Factor 4: A Mentor

Renewal versus Leveling: The Need to Reform

Key Takeaways: Renewal versus Leveling

Putting It All Together

Interpreting the Composite Scoring Matrix

Conclusion: Transformational Leadership Requires Courage

We Need Heroes: Seven Transformational Leadership Virtues

The Investments that Pay Dividends for Generations

Today’s Opportunity


About the Author

Combining relentless drive for improvement with a real-world perspective, Jamison J. Manion brings a hands-on approach to leadership, management, and organizational design. Working on the front line of organizations in dozens of locations domestically and abroad Manion gained a unique background in operations, maintenance, and human resources that he fuses together into a holistic approach to organizational development. He has a proven track record leading organizational change and process improvement that he communicates with a rare blend of expertise and humor.

Manion’s methods have proven effective in diverse industries of all sizes and missions including both light and heavy manufacturing, energy and utilities, chemical, pharmaceutical, plastics, military and government agencies, consumer products, and nonprofit agencies. He explains complex technical concepts, human factors and motivation, and business solutions with contextual examples that transcend theory making them applicable in today’s complex and rapidly changing organizations. His passion for helping organizations bolster job security through aligned systems and improved organizational performance shines throughout The Workforce Engagement Equation.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Human Resources & Personnel Management
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Workplace Culture