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November 24, 2021 | 27 Mins Read

The Impact of Employee-Centric Management

November 24, 2021 | 27 Mins Read

The Impact of Employee-Centric Management


Dr. Jack W. Wiley, who is recognized internationally for pioneering research linking employee work attitudes to measures of organizational success, joins Sarah to talk about his latest research and book around the traits and benefits of employee-centric management.

Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Nicastro. Today we are going to be talking about the impact of employee-centric management. I'm excited to be joined today by Dr. Jack Wiley, who is recognized internationally for pioneering research linking employee work attitudes to measures of organizational success. Most recently, Dr. Wiley was professor of psychology for Manchester University, where he founded the undergraduate program in industrial organizational psychology. He currently serves as the chief scientific officer at Engage2Excel, and as the president and CEO of both Jack Wiley Consulting and Employee Centricity. That's a pretty big intro. Jack, welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast.

Jack Wiley: Thanks Sarah. I do stay busy. Yes, I do.

Sarah Nicastro: Yes, I can tell, and I like that. I prefer to stay busy myself. Excellent. Before we dig into our content today, is there anything you want to add, tell the audience a bit more about yourself, your background, anything you want to share?

Jack Wiley: Well, I think you've hit it nicely. My background is largely in the field of organizational psychology. I've worked both as an internal consultant to organizations and also spent most of my career as an external consultant. I've had the privilege of working in a variety of different countries. I've worked with leadership teams in 25 countries around the world. So, my research and my perspective really attempts to bring in a bit more of an international flavor, if you will.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay, great. Well, we're excited to have you here. I love the idea of this topic. So, the content that Jack is going to share with us here today is related to a new book that he has out called The Employee-Centric Manager, and he is going to give us a sneak peek into some of the content of that book today and have a discussion about that topic. I like it already, Jack, because we talk a lot here on this podcast about how employee engagement and employee satisfaction relates so significantly and directly to customer experience and customer satisfaction. And we always caution folks not to focus so narrowly on the customer experience that they forget to consider the employee experience. So, excited to hear what you have to say today.

Sarah Nicastro: Before we talk about some of the points and advice that you provide in the book, let's first touch on some of the dynamics that are contributing to the need for managers to become more employee-centric than perhaps they have been historically.

Jack Wiley: Right. Well, I think we're all aware of the fact that over the last 18 months, the workplace dynamic has changed and probably changed in some ways that will be more or less forever going forward. I think some of these changes are simply going to be changes that we're going to be dealing with in our careers as we move forward. So, that represents an unprecedented challenge for managers. They have a lot of additional issues that they need to be attending with, especially today in the United States, we saw the August numbers show that 4.4 million workers quit. A recent survey that I saw indicated about 65% of employees are actually considering leaving their current job.

Jack Wiley: Regardless of where you might be on the issue of vaccine mandates, we have two to 8% of workers who fall under the mandate who indicate that they're not interested or certainly not willing at least at this point to take the vaccine. So, all of this creates some tremendous challenges for managers because they're the ones at the end of the day who have to deliver the goods and services that the organization is committed to. They're not going to make that happen unless they have proper staffing.

Jack Wiley: And any of us who've been out and about in any kind of organization where we've gone to get goods and services, we know that supply chain bottlenecks and the understaffing of service organizations represents the real challenge for managers today.

Sarah Nicastro: Now, what about ... I'm curious your thoughts as well. Certainly, the pandemic has had an incredible impact on all of our working lives and particularly the way that managers need to consider the manager employee relationship. I'm also curious your opinion on the role that generational changes in the workforce has on this topic. So the need to become more employee-centric.

Jack Wiley: Right. I think that's a good question. I mean, we have really the cross of what are the current circumstances, as well as what are the generational differences? So when we think about the current circumstances, employees have indicated that there are things they want more of from their manager now during the course of the pandemic. And that really shows up in three ways. One is, and especially for employees who've gone remote, been in an office environment, now working remotely, possibly going back, perhaps they already have. We're going to end up with probably a hybrid work environment as the most common model.

Jack Wiley: Employees are saying under those conditions, they need more support from their managers, particularly if they're dealing with, if you will, fewer workers to accomplish the same amount of work, if they're working at home and under certain circumstances, they may have childcare situations that weren't like they were before, that place is greater demand on them, maybe the schooling of their children. So they want more support from their managers in terms of just managing the workload.

Jack Wiley: Secondly, as they think about going back to work, they also want more support around safety and their own physical security. Safety, of course, in relation to the pandemic, they want to make sure that the protocols are in place, that the value system really enforces safety in terms of their physical wellbeing. But the third thing is really flexibility. They want more flexibility in how they go about their work. So, they're looking for their managers to provide them with more autonomy. Help me understand what the work is you want accomplished, but give me more room to decide how I'm going to go about doing that myself.

Jack Wiley: Now, in relation to generational differences, I would say that in many cases, the differences are maybe lesser than the popular press makes them out to be, but there are some important generational differences. For example, for the older generation, they're very concerned about making sure that their pay and their income stays the same because they're preparing for retirement. They also want to make sure that they want work for managers who have high integrity.

Jack Wiley: For the younger generation, the emphasis is a little bit more on the values of the organization reflecting my personal values in terms of matching with the vision of the organization and how it operates and its culture, but also the opportunities for growth and development. So, getting into an organization, learning how things get done, but then being able to move up quickly. That's going to happen more readily in organizations that are growing. Everybody wants to be on a winning team and especially younger workers, because that creates more of a draft upward in terms of the possibilities they have with their own career.

Sarah Nicastro: That makes sense. So, before we get into some of the advice on how to be an employee-centric manager, what can you share related to the evidence that this approach is effective?

Jack Wiley: Right. So, I've had the opportunity over the last couple of years to measure the extent to which managers have actually displayed the attributes associated with being an employee-centric manager. What I found is, because I have such a large database, I have ratings on over 10,000 managers on the extent to which they display these attributes. That allows me to actually categorize managers as either top rated employee-centric managers, middle rated managers, or bottom rated employee-centric managers.

Jack Wiley: Then I've looked at the impact that has on the experience of employees, and especially looking at employee engagement index scores, interpersonal team chemistry scores, and then very importantly, team performance scores. What I found is that there is an overwhelming significant positive correlation. The greater the extent to which managers display these attribute that are important to employees, the much higher the employee engagement index scores are, much more our teams likely to say that we operate cohesively. There's good interpersonal team chemistry, and very importantly, team performance scores also pretty much are at the top of the potential for managers who are top rated in the display of these attributes.

Jack Wiley: Middle rated managers do okay, but bottom rated managers, their scores on all three of those metrics, employee engagement, team cohesion and team performance, are really in the toilet, so to speak. That forms your validity. That's what a scientist would look for, do measures on this particular set of attributes actually predict outcomes that organizations are interested in. That's what we call validity.

Sarah Nicastro: Right. Okay. Okay. So in the book you discuss, I believe it's five behaviors, one skill and two values that are imperative to an employee-centric approach. Now, obviously we won't have time to get into all eight of those things in great detail here, plus we want people to read the book. Right? But I'm hoping you can, at least, give us a synopsis of those things and a feel for what they are and what you're covering in greater detail in the book itself. So maybe we can start with the behaviors.

Jack Wiley: Okay. That's a great place to start. In fact, I would back up just a little bit from that. Because I think there are a couple of things I want to emphasize. There are an abundance of leadership theories out there today. Many of which are very good, have been very helpful and are well regarded. But my approach here, Sarah, was to actually rely entirely upon the voice of the employee to inform me about what they most wanted in an immediate manager. That was really the fundamental question that I went out with. Tell me what you most want from your immediate boss.

Jack Wiley: And I went to representative samples of employees in 27 countries around the world. These countries tended to be the largest economies, but I didn't want a US-centric only answer to this question. I wanted basically a universal answer. These countries to which I went in a representative way, present about 85% of the world's gross domestic products. So, my conclusions are fundamentally universal. So with that as a background, the five behaviors are really pretty straightforward. And by behaviors we mean things that managers do to influence or react to their subordinate employees.

Jack Wiley: Number one, they want to work for managers who show support and understanding. They're accessible, they're available, they're considerate, they listen to employees and they respond. That's showing support and understanding. Number two, providing recognition. This is about the psychological appreciation. "Thank you for a job well done. I'm not going to take credit for your good work, I'm going to make sure you're in the spotlight up the chain of command."

Jack Wiley: Thirdly, and somewhat uniquely from other leadership theories, employees said that they wanted to be treated with dignity and respect. And so if we stop to think about that, that's really fundamentally the principle of reciprocity. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We find that tenant in most major religions around the world. Certainly in Christianity, we find that. So the whole idea is, I as an employee, am showing up at work to do a good job, trust me, trust my working style, treat me with dignity by asking my opinion about how we should go about doing things. That what people mean when they say dignity and respect.

Jack Wiley: The fourth is very task-oriented, communicate clear performance expectations, define success for me. I'm eager to get the job done, establish the priorities, give me some useful feedback, make sure I'm on the right course, but clearly communicate what performance you expect of me. Then finally, among the five behaviors would be, rewarding performance contributions. I bring my knowledge, my skills, my abilities, I lay it on the line. In return, I expect to be compensated fairly. But what employees said was it wasn't just about the pocketbook. Certainly, they wanted fair compensation, but they also wanted the opportunity for training and development and career advancement. That also is a form of compensation for employees. So the five behaviors are those.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay. All right. It's very interesting. I think what's interesting to me is the way they all sound very, in some ways, simple and fair, and certainly well-deserved by anyone that is committed to doing a good job in their role or their career. But if there's one thing I've learned over 15 years of interviewing folks, it's often in the simplest things where the most challenges happen. Right? So, let's talk then about the skill.

Jack Wiley: All right. The skill, interestingly enough is a lot like a behavior. I mean, a skill actually is a behavior. It's just a behavior that you're very good at, and you're good at it because you've practiced at it. you've learned from your past experiences, et cetera. I played high school and college basketball, free throws is a skill. You have to practice at it to get better. You're not going to step up to the line and hit 80% or 90% of your free throws if you don't practice. The same thing is true in organization settings with this particular skill, problem solving and decision making.

Jack Wiley: And the reason that's important to employees that they work for a manager who's good at doing that is because that knocks down barriers to getting the job done. It knocks down obstacles to serving customers, it puts people in a position to be more successful, especially if their manager can make decisions in a timely way that takes into consideration the implications of those decisions, so that there won't be blow back onto the work group. And also, employees don't expect their manager to get everything perfectly right. But what they do expect is that their manager will learn from a past experience, use that experience to become even better in the future.

Jack Wiley: So that's what they mean by problem solving decision making, be good at that, don't dither, don't waste time, don't drag things out, make the best decision you can and help us get on with the work that you've assigned us to do.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Okay. What about the values?

Jack Wiley: Yeah. The two values are interesting because when it's all said and done, what I found was that, one fifth of the world's workforce identified one of these two values as what they most wanted. By values, I'm talking about personal standard of conduct. What are the personal standards of behavior that the manager brings to the workplace and is known for? And what employees said was, number one, we want our manager to be fair and just. So they're going to make equitable decisions, they're going to be objective, they're not going to play favorites. They're going to honor employees with fairness and justice and decision making.

Jack Wiley: The second is similar, but still different. It's being honest and trustworthy. So this is about the issue of walking the talk, doing what you say you're going to do, show up in and operate in an ethical way. Be transparent, don't say one thing to one group and another thing that's different to another group. Be honest under all conditions. As I said, one out of five employees worldwide identified one of those two values as what was most important for them. That tells me that there's a deficit in how these values show up in the workforce around the world today.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Okay. All right. So here's a couple of questions for you.

Jack Wiley: Sure.

Sarah Nicastro: The first is, with some behaviors and skills and values that all seem very fair and attainable, where do you think the struggle comes in for those that are not in that top tier?

Jack Wiley: Yeah. I think there are probably two or three sources of the struggle. That's a great question. I think part of the struggle is in awareness. Interestingly enough, now this is U.S. specific data. But about a year ago, I asked 1,000 managers in the United States. By the way, there are 24 million managers in the United States who have people management responsibilities. So we're talking about a very large population. I asked a representative sample of 1000 of those managers to tell me what they thought was the most important thing that employees wanted from them.

Jack Wiley: Now, I won't go through all of the results, but let's talk about two areas in particular. Support and understanding. About 25% of employees in the United States would say that that's the number one thing they want from their manager, most important. Only 16% of managers identified that as the most important one. More astoundingly, 13% of employees said that recognition was what they most wanted from employees. Only 1% of managers identified recognition as what employees most want. So, that's one form of disconnect.

Jack Wiley: Now, to be sure, there are a number of those attributes that managers were pretty spot on in terms of expecting or understanding the employees needed from them. But there are also some pretty big disconnects. That's part one. Another part that I find very interesting is that, and organizational psychologists have known this for a long time, managers tend to have an inflated view of how successful they are as managers. So, I actually had managers rate themselves on some key dimensions like overall work management, people management, overall effectiveness, and I had employees rate managers on those same dimensions.

Jack Wiley: What I found was, on a scale of one to five, managers consistently rated themselves about 20% more effective than employees did. We have tons of research in our field that show that upward feedback measurement systems are quite accurate, employee views of how their managers perform are probably the most valid and reliable views of managerial performance that we have, but managers are overestimating how well they're performing.

Jack Wiley: The third thing I found out was, I asked people managers, how much training and development they had received as a people manager? This also is somewhat astounding, but what I found was, over 70% of managers in the United States, and I'm talking about all industries, all different levels of management, smaller organizations, larger organizations, over 70% of managers had either had no training in people management or the training they had received was limited to no more than four hours. And so, when we consider the centrality of people management responsibilities in the context of the overall role of the manager, and over 70% had no more than four hours at best, also I think is part of the problem.

Jack Wiley: Because we know that through awareness and through skill development and through reinforcement, managers can show up in the ways that employees most want them to show up. But if they're not aware of it, if they've got a misunderstanding of what's important, if they've got an inflated view of their own success, then I think these are all answers to the question you post.

Sarah Nicastro: I guess I do agree with you that if those things are addressed, those scores should raise and we should see more managers and not top tier. What concerns me is the people at the very bottom. Right? And some of the reasons that that could be, right, so it could be the inflated view of their own methods and their success. It could be just a lack of training or skill, but I think sometimes people end up in those positions that truly shouldn't be, and either cannot or would not raise to the level that businesses would like them to, or employees need them to. Do you agree with that, or do you think that everyone, even at the bottom tier has what it takes to be able to adopt these different behaviors skill and values and perform the way that you're prescribing in the book?

Jack Wiley: Yeah. I think that's another great question. I think most people do, but I couldn't go on record saying that all of them are capable of performing the way an employee-centric manager should according to the definition provided by subordinate employees. When you think about values, sometimes values are hard to change. If people don't have a historical record of being honest and trustworthy or being fair and just, you can help them understand the importance of this, but they really may have to make some pretty substantial changes in their orientation toward the workplace and toward others.

Jack Wiley: Now, when it comes to some of the behaviors, can I become better at listening? Can I become better at providing recognition? Can I do a better job of communicating clear performance expectations? I think things like this, you can build skill around, but they're going to be limited. If they don't have the cognitive mental ability, if they don't have the intelligence, they're going to be limited in their problem solving decision making skills. So I think underneath your question is also the notion that we can do pre-hire assessments of candidates for managerial positions to see whether or not they have the right personality attributes, whether they have the right amount of intelligence, if they have the experience, the past experience that would allow them to be successful.

Jack Wiley: But I fear a lot of organizations don't use pre-hire assessments very effectively. They don't use the behavioral based interviewing that we would recommend for how you determine whether or not someone is really qualified to move into first level supervision, let alone higher levels of managerial responsibility.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. I also think there's an issue of, it's one thing to tackle this from a new hire perspective, it's another thing to tackle it if you're looking at all of the incumbent talent and where they rank and what the deficiencies are, and what needs to be done to address it. I think I do feel that the values part of this is the most important in terms of coachability. Right? If that is there, right, the behaviors can be taught. If that's lacking, that's a problem in and of itself.

Sarah Nicastro: I was curious, Jack, if you could talk a little bit about ... and maybe this is an unfair question, but have you noticed, or do you surmise that there's a correlation here to where those leaders ranked and what the culture of the business is? Because to me, this seems that while there would certainly be some individual variation, it also seems like something that has a trickle-down effect in the sense that, if the company culture is one that those at the top are employee-centric, it would be more likely for the managers among the ranks to have some of those behaviors and skills, et cetera. Do you see any correlation there? Exactly.

Jack Wiley: No, I am totally on board with that assertion. If we think about the culture of an organization, typically it's tied back, especially in younger organizations to the behavior of founders of the organization. If you want to assess the culture of an organization, the two things that I think you look for, first of all, is the behavior that's modeled by people at the top of the house. Secondly, to understand how rewards are allocated, because the behavior of the people at the top of the house and how rewards within the organization are allocated, are going to provide tremendous insight into the culture of the organization.

Jack Wiley: So, if you've got people at the top who aren't modeling the kind of behavior associated with the employee-centric managers, that's going to be a deterrent to displaying those behaviors at lower levels. Obviously it doesn't make it impossible, but you won't see it as rewarded or valued by higher level executives when they look at and evaluate the performance of lower level managers. So, absolutely I am on board with culture being extremely important as a variable that determines a behavior of managers.

Jack Wiley: Now, at some point in time, employees are going to do their own assessment. Managerial employees are going to say, "Either I fit with this culture or I don't, and if I've got the option, I'm going to vacate my position and try to find an organization where I believe that's a better fit for me." When you think about what organizations can do, which is the flip side of this, they can do a better job of pre-hire assessment. They can encourage and put the spotlight on managers at higher levels who model the right kind of behavior.

Jack Wiley: They can implement upward feedback systems to get a readout on how managers are doing against these eight attributes. There are a number of things that they can do. And just like your question suggested, if they're rewarding these behaviors at lower levels, they're much more likely to see those behaviors displayed.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. That was going to be my next question, which is, for an individual manager, if you wanted to learn what these attributes are and reflect on whether or not you exemplify them, et cetera, you can read the book and get a sense of that. What I was going to ask about is what you just commented on, which is, the organization's responsibility to drive employee-centric management as part of its culture and what are some of the things that those companies can do or implement or track to move this in the right direction.

Jack Wiley: Right. It is kind of interesting. Let me tie in some other research that I've done that's related to this. When we think about a manager's performance, and if you're a superior to a particular manager and you're responsible for managing their performance and evaluating that performance, what are the variables that you consider? Well, you might be considering the engagement of employees who report to that manager, you might consider whether or not it's a functional cohesive team with good interpersonal chemistry. Certainly, you're going to look at whatever measures of team performance you have.

Jack Wiley: Those are all going to be contributors to your determination of whether or not that manager is doing a good job. Well, the fact of the matter is, that what I've been able to demonstrate is that if we can measure the attributes of managers on these employee-centric managerial attributes, if I know the scores on those attributes, I can actually predict two thirds of what their overall rating is. Now, there are other things that are going to filter in and affect that rating, but basically I can explain or account for two thirds of a manager's overall performance rating based on these eight attributes.

Jack Wiley: So, what's the relevance of that? Well, the relevance of that is that if we want to help managers become more effective in their display of these attributes, and more importantly, in their overall performance levels, then we can help them understand better how to demonstrate these attributes, because that becomes the pathway to achieving a higher performance rating as a subordinate manager.

Jack Wiley: The other thing that I found out, we do this through statistical regression analysis. So we create an equation that predicts an outcome. Well, variables enter at different levels. The three variables that most impact a manager's overall performance rating boil down to just three things, obviously. The first is to listen to employees. If you're seen as a good listener of employees, that's number one. Number two, to be good at problem solving, decision making. So make decisions quickly, make good decisions, bust through obstacles to getting the work done. But then thirdly, providing employees with recognition.

Jack Wiley: Yeah, you have to be smart and experienced to make better decisions, but you have to be aware of the importance of listening and of providing recognition. Really, anyone should be able to do that with a proper awareness and maybe some skill building. So those three things alone can really drive how effectively the manager is perceived by those employees who report into that manager. Again, when we think about overall performance, we can largely explain how a manager's going to be rated on overall performance by taking a look at how they're evaluated on these eight attributes of the employee-centric manager.

Sarah Nicastro: I don't know if you noticed me grinning a little bit, but I was just thinking, when you were talking about decision making, you have to be experienced, you also have to be empowered. Right? I mean, it's just interesting to me how this ties back to the overall company culture. Right? And whether organizations want to foster and nurture this type of behavior or whether they are intentionally or subconsciously doing things that are stifling it. Right? And so, it's just really interesting how those things intersect.

Sarah Nicastro: And to your point, why an individual manager at times gets to a crossroads where they need to question, "Am I at the right place? Am I in an environment that I can be true to the type of leader that I want to be?" Right? And if not, they obviously know they need to go elsewhere. But I think that it's going to become more and more important for companies to move in in this direction overall with the culture and the top leadership.

Jack Wiley: I think you're absolutely right, Sarah. I mean, think about it this way. If I'm a manager of subordinate employees, but my manager isn't treating me with dignity and respect, isn't showing respect for my thoughts and opinions, never ask for my input, if my manager hasn't provided me with clear performance expectations that defines success and gives me permission to pursue that with a sense of autonomy, then it's going to be really difficult for me to show up as a manager to my employees in a way that allows me the full range of possibilities in terms of making good decisions.

Jack Wiley: I may be delayed in my decision making, I may be steered to make a decision that I don't think is the right decision, but I have to agree to it because my boss is demanding it, and that boss at the higher level, really isn't delegating authority to the lower-level manager in a way that really demonstrates confidence in that manager's ability. So that's going to be a stifling factor.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, it would be interesting, I know we don't have time for this today, but there's a lot of things at play. When you talk to organizations and you examine some of the different layers of change that are going on in leadership and company culture, I think you spoke earlier about, when we talked about recognition, this idea of people being rewarded or compensated based on outcomes, not output, that type of mentality. There's just so many things going on that I think are really interesting about how the landscape of leadership and company culture is evolving, and I think that it's a really interesting area to talk about.

Jack Wiley: Well, it is, and of course, some of the consequences, we've talked about consequences that are measurable by, let's say attitude surveys, like employee engagement, or even team cohesion. But then there are some hard measures too, that gets back to quit rates and absenteeism and other forms of acting out. If employees see that this really isn't a good fit, managers aren't showing up the way they should. They're not being sensitive. They're placing more demands with fewer resources. All of this creates a sense of stress. I mean, that is the definition of stress.

Jack Wiley: When the demands placed on me outstrip the resources available to me to accomplish what it is I'm asked to do, I'm going to consider myself to be stressed, and over time that's ultimately what leads to burnout. At some point in time, we look at work life balance, we look at other things that affect the family. People end up making decisions that I would be better off exiting this organization and going to work for another organization.

Jack Wiley: But what that means for the company that experiences that regrettable turnover is now they've got to replace that employee. And if that employee is effective, if they're knowledge worker who's performing at a high level, the estimates are that it's going to be the replacement costs to bring someone new into an acceptable level of performance, is roughly approximate to the annual salary of the departing employee. So when we think about what the costs are for ineffective management, it's not just in poor results to a work experience survey or lower employee engagement index scores. There are some real costs associated with absenteeism, with sickness, with decisions to leave an organization and the trailing costs that those represent.

Jack Wiley: So, the more that we can quantify these things and help leaders of organizations understand how they might be really spilling money unnecessarily because of ineffective management, then we begin to get their attention, and open up doors or avenues of thinking about how these things can be managed much more effectively and in a much more cost-effective way as well.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. I think acceptance of responsibility. Right? I mean, I think that's one of the things when I keep coming back to the overall company culture, I think it's because it's very easy to point fingers at an individual manager and say, "Well, they're not doing their job." Right? In some cases in that bottom tier, that's why I brought up, can they be coached up? Some probably can, some probably can't. So, it's not to disregard the role of the individual, but I think a company has a responsibility to also consider how the environment of the organization is impacting that performance or not. Right? And look at what those things are.

Sarah Nicastro: The other thing is, when you think of the impact of one poor manager and people leaving, there was two things I wanted to say, you can calculate the cost of replacement. What's impossible to calculate is the opportunity cost. That person that left the organization, you don't know what they would've gone on to do or contribute. Right? So, you don't know what damage you're doing by just allowing this to persist.

Sarah Nicastro: A lot of times, I attended a web event a few weeks ago, and it was a group of folks talking about being gaslighted by manage and the vast majority, if not all of the people that were contributing to the conversation said, yes, they've experienced this, and they just left. They didn't fight back, they didn't bring it up. They didn't often even give a reason as to why they were moving on. Right? Because they don't have hope that the company will handle it appropriately. So they just concede and go somewhere else, to your point. Right? That is very unfortunate.

Jack Wiley: Right? So, an additional cost then more generally in the place of operation of that business is their employee value proposition, and the brand of the employer. It becomes diminished, it becomes hurt when there's a continual flow of people exiting the organization because of a poor experience, whether it's with an individual manager or managers more generally who aren't well trained and aren't reinforced and rewarded for the right kinds of behavior and the right approach to managing others. It's quite unfortunate, but it can be adjusted if there's a willingness at the top to take the actions necessary.

Jack Wiley: Now, to your point, if you think about this, if an organization were to engage in assessing their managers up and down, the totality of that would really provide them with a training needs analysis of what we need to do differently within this organization to reflect the attributes of the employee-centric manager, which going back to a point you made earlier, we know the validity of the model because of what it predicts in terms of outcomes. So this is a pathway to greater success, but sometimes that pathway starts with creating an understanding of where you are right now, so that you can figure out what it is the actions are that you need to take in order to get better.

Jack Wiley: But again, that presumes a certain level of enlightenment and belief in employees and value in employees so that you're creating the right kind of circumstance for them to excel at their work, to want to stay where they are, to be enthused, to provide that higher level of discretionary effort that every employer would want from their employees.

Sarah Nicastro: Absolutely. Very interesting stuff, Jack. I appreciate you coming on and talking about this. Let folks know where they can find the book.

Jack Wiley: Right. You mentioned early on that one of my roles is the chief scientific officer for Engage2Excel. So you can go to the Engage2Excel website. Engage2 as in to the number, There are a number of resources there that you can access, but certainly you can gain access to ordering my book. The other way in which you can do that right now is to go to my website at, and that will show you how you can order the book. Now, in the near future, possibly by the time this is published, we'll be up and running on Amazon as well. Most of us know how that works, but look for The Employee Centric Manager.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay, excellent. I'll make sure the links are in the show notes, and really appreciate you coming and spending some time with me today.

Jack Wiley: Thanks for the invitation and thanks for the great questions. Really appreciate.

Sarah Nicastro: Absolutely. You can find more by visiting us at You can also find us on LinkedIn as well as Twitter @TheFutureOfFS. The Future of Field Service podcast is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more at As always, thank you for listening.