Business Leadership Today

Bruce Tulgan On Cultivating Employee Engagement


In this episode we talked with author Bruce Tulgan and discussed the top 7 most important things that a leader needs to do to improve employee engagement.

Bruce is the founder of the research and consulting firm, Rainmaker Thinking, and he’s internationally recognized as one of the leading experts on young people in the workplace and on leadership and management. 

Since 1993, Bruce has worked with tens of thousands of leaders and managers in hundreds of organizations. He is also the best-selling author of twenty-one books, including It’s Okay To Be The Boss.

Join us as we discuss with Bruce how to improve employee engagement and create a high-performance culture. Hear Bruce’s insights on the common pitfalls leaders face when managing their teams. Learn how to create genuine and sustainable engagement among every member of your organization.

Here is a link to Bruce’s website:
Bruce’s Website

Here is a link to Bruce’s book:
It’s Okay To Be The Boss

Here is a link if you want to Connect With Bruce on LinkedIn:
Bruce’s LinkedIn Profile

Bruce’s Top 7

1. Real Empowerment Instead Of False Empowerment

“Empowerment becomes an excuse for negligent hands-off management. Real empowerment takes hard work. Real empowerment takes structure. Real empowerment is all about managers who create a cadence of communication with every person they manage.” – Bruce Tulgan

2. Real Fairness Instead Of False Fairness

“The idea that we have to treat everybody the same, that is profoundly unfair. It is true that we should be fair. The myth however is that the way to be fair is to treat everybody the same. What’s fair is to tune in to each person, see what makes them a special case, and to do more for them as they do more for the company.” – Bruce Tulgan

3. Real Respect And Trust Instead Of ‘False Nice Guy Syndrome’

“Managers pretend to be your friend and shoot the breeze, but then when things go wrong they still get angry. This is what I call false ‘false nice guy syndrome.’ It’s all because the manager is afraid to keep track of the details, to make it clear what is up to people and what’s not, to come down on small problems so they don’t become big problems, and being strong before things go right, wrong, or average.” – Bruce Tulgan

4. A Lot More Ordinary Conversations In Order To Avoid Difficult Conversations

“What leads to difficult conversations is if you don’t make expectations clear and then you come down like a ton of bricks. If you chew out the wrong person at the wrong time, that’s what creates difficult conversations.” – Bruce Tulgan

5. Documenting Performance Instead Of Complaining About HR

“There are four good reasons to keep track of performance every step of the way: It sends a powerful message that the person is important and their work is important. Second, if you are managing people correctly you will have a lot to keep track of. When you resume a conversation it gives you a good and accurate jumping off point. And lastly if you go to HR to ask for something for your team, you have documentation of your team’s performance and can make your case.” – Bruce Tulgan

6. Practicing The Basics Instead Of Worrying Being A Natural Leader, Or Transformational Leader

“What’s missing in 9 out of 10 management relationships is managers who make time every day for really good team huddles and really good 1 on 1’s. Managers who take time everyday to tune into each person and find out, what are you doing, how are you doing it, and what do you need from me.” – Bruce Tulgan

7. Putting In The Time Up Front Instead Of Thinking You Don’t Have Time And Then Spending All Your Time Solving UYnnecessary Problems

“Unnecessary problems occur if you don’t prevent them. Unnecessary problems take a lot of time. Problems get out of control if you don’t identify problems while they are small and address them. If you don’t take time upfront to plan resource use, you end up squandering resources. If you don’t spend time up front making sure people are going in the right direction, they go in the wrong direction.” – Bruce Tulgan

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