When the Cat’s Away…

When the cat’s away, you know what those mice do. But, do you know why? According to a report by Rachel Zupek, it’s often about the kind of boss that cat is:

It’s a direct reflection of the boss’s leadership. When a workplace isn’t compelling to people — where employees lack the desire and ability to be accountable for their own success — misbehaving or slacking in the boss’s absence is merely a mask for boredom.

If a lack of employee engagement is a consequence of supervisor behavior, then that’s important feedback for the boss.  Accountability expert, Linda Galindo, believes that bosses in this situation need to”raise their game.”  This can mean adopting a radically different approach to management, as recounted by one supermarket manager:

Not content with the absolute misery of the hourly employees I was responsible for, I tried to inspire and entertain them. It worked; those under me had the highest productivity rate, got the best raises, were promoted faster and would do just about anything in the world for me because they knew I would do anything in my power for them.

For you cats in management, is there something about your leadership that stops your colleagues from investing in their jobs and the success of your group?  Are you focusing on the right things?  Is it about punching the clock on time  — or producing great results on time? Is it about providing a way for your staff to shine — or are you too busy promoting your own interests over those of your team?

Perhaps mice are predisposed to play a little when the cat’s away.  Just be sure that you aren’t creating the conditions at work that drive your mice to act out more than normal.

[Photo Credit: yukari]

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