This week read the case study at the end of chapter 10 “We Need More Engagement Around Here.” Reflecting on the unit Reading, answer these questions:

  1. What can management learn from the exhibit data about employee motivation and engagement?
  2. If you were in charge of creating an action plan for addressing the data, what actions would you suggest for the managers to take to increase motivation and engagement?
  3. What tips can you take from the case study and the Reading to improve your knowledge of employee motivation?
  4. How does this case study add to or change your thoughts on leadership?
  5. What ideas from the case study will you add to your leadership profile?

Textbook ref: Dubrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills.

400 words min.

Case Study:

We Need More Engagement Around Here

Margot is the CEO of a regional health maintenance organization (HMO) with twenty-five local offices serving business and nonprofit organizations. The competition for business has become more intense in recent years as organizations continue to look for ways to reduce cost for medical insurance, yet still offering medical insurance to employees. A particular concern is that a given company might shift to another HMO if that health care provider can offer lower costs. Margot expressed her concern at a meeting with the management staff in these words, “I think our HMO could provide better service and lower costs if our employees put in more effort. A lot of the employees I have seen are so laid back, and almost indifferent. They don’t seem to have a sense of urgency. “I don’t think that by simply downsizing the company we will reduce costs. Having fewer workers to accomplish our important work would just make things worse. We would get less work accomplished, and the quality would suffer.” After listening to Margot, the vice president of marketing, Jerry, commented: “Margot, you might be right about some of our employees not being totally engaged in our work. Yet I cannot understand why. Taking care of people’s health is one of the most important responsibilities in the world. We often increase life spans and save lives.” Cora, the director of human resources, said: “Jerry, from your point of view, you are correct. Health care is a noble undertaking. Yet when a person is seated at a computer for eight hours processing claims, he or she might not feel like an angel of mercy.” “We can speculate all we want about how well our employees are engaged and motivated, and what we should do about the situation. I propose that we get some data to work with so we can learn more about the nature of the problem facing us. I suggest that we hire an HR consulting firm to conduct a survey about employee engagement. It could prove to be a good investment.” Margot said with a smile, “Here I am concerned about our costs being too high, and Cora makes a suggestion about spending money.” Cora retorted, “Margot, I am talking about investing, not spending money. If we could boost our level of employee motivation 10 percent, we would get a tremendous return on investment.” Margot, Cora, and the rest of the executive team agreed to hire a firm to conduct the survey. Four months later, the survey was completed, and the results presented to management. The consultant, Ken, focused on the data presented in the accompanying Exhibit as the key finding of the survey. He said, “Folks, here is the meat of the survey. Let’s discuss what calls for action are revealed by the data.”

CASE EXHIBIT Data from Employee Attitude Survey


1. Do you have a clear description of your responsibilities? 72 28

2. Do you have the opportunity to use you best skills each workday? 55 45

3. Do you put your full effort into the job most days? 44 56

4. Do you think that your immediate supervisor is doing a good job? 85 15

5. Do you expect to be working for this company for at least another three years? 34 66

6. Do you ever take work home with you (assuming that you have the type of work that can be done off company premises)? 41 59

7. In the past year, have you had opportunities at work to learn and grow professionally? 38 62

8. Are you satisfied with your compensation (salary and benefits combined)? 69 31

9. Do you feel committed to the company in terms of its work? 45 55 10. Do you think that your work serves an important purpose? 48 52

Note: A total of 376 employees were surveyed, representing 89 percent of the workforce.


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