Human Factor Buy-in


Steve Proud gets his biggest promotion as the latest senior executive to run this troubled business. With lots of talent and experience, the organization struggles to meet performance goals. Being on the fast-track, Steve quickly makes significant changes to impress the corporate board. He fires the old managers and surrounds himself with the better talent. His team rolls out a comprehensive strategic plan.

The corporate board starts seeing positive results.  However, things change within two years. Many employees view Steve as a ‘paper manager.’ Despite his ‘talk about empowering workers,’ his actions demonstrate he cares little about any worker’s opinions. Steve cannot understand why his strategy failed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Most organizations move swiftly ahead reacting to market forces without truly empowering workers to make organizational decisions. Managers preach that employees are a critical asset to an organization’s bottom-line. However, few managers ever show it. Given that percept, we will discuss the final component of effective socio-technical systems. It is the human factor buy-in. Organizations must shift their paradigm to viewing workers as more than mechanical parts for their organizational objectives.

According to a USA Today poll, nearly half of those interviewed said that corporations can be trusted only a little, or not at all, when it involves looking out for the best interest of employees. Michael Hackman and Craig Johnson, authors of Leadership: A Communication Perspective, argue that a leader’s credibility is directly related to the quality of his relationship with followers.

Marios Katsioloudes, a researcher specializing in socio-technical analysis, explains that as profitability of mechanization increases, the importance of technology is implied while there is a devaluation of the workers. Clearly, U.S. businesses cannot point to the lack of employee performance for mismanagement errors.

Japan, a long-time benchmark for American companies, is being defeated by American employees. Today, the average U.S. worker puts in 36 more hours than Japanese workers (1,825 vs. 1,789). Over the last two decades, balancing work and home life have been difficult since Americans have added 200 hours to their annual work schedule.

Employees want to be valued. Felix Harris, a financial director with over 8 years in the banking industry, acknowledges the importance of people in a socio-technical system. He states, “When employees are appreciated, they work harder.  A machine is only as good as its operator.”  Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of The Human Equation, acknowledges that organizational success is directly related to implementation, and this capacity comes from the workers, how they are treated, their skills, and their efforts as it relates to the organization.

Managers should see followers as more than mechanical parts for their organizational objectives. Managers assume that giving employees new technology is enough to keep them happy. Likewise, leaders should view followers as vital components of the socio-technical system.

Today’s managers in technical organizations must understand the delicacy of balancing a socio-technical system. The recent mirage of culture changes such as outsourcing, scandals, and unethical dealings by both governmental and business senior managers have made American employees skeptical about the seriousness of organizations implementing corporate values into their workplace.

Furthermore, today’s executives are falling short in promoting the desired values to support socio-technical systems due to understanding the value of employee buy-in.

In fact, this insight would be valuable to any manager, trying to integrate the man – human interface mechanism. Understanding the uniqueness of the socio-technical system may increase leadership effectiveness and better management strategies for your organization.

How can organizations best gain employee buy-in when they possess less than a stellar track record of worker empowerment?  

 © 2010 by Daryl D. Green

36 thoughts on “Human Factor Buy-in

  1. There is book named “Whale done” written by Kenneth H. Blanchard, which I read very interestingly. In this book, the author strengthens recognition attitude to our work in our work place whether it is big progress or small. Its main idea is “Accentuate the positive”, because we are more focused on negative factors in work place or society, and don’t even appreciate small progress at all, so that is taken it as granted. As a result of that, negative work environment could be created in our organization and the gap between managers and employees would be possibly increased, so that organization might not best gain employee buy in. It is also said that we like “gotcha” approach better than “well done” which means we like to find out wrong doing than recognizing whatever the outcome. In the conclusion, constantly and timely recognition would be a tool to enhance socio-technical system in organization.
    Whale Done, Kenneth H Blanchard, 2002

    • Employee buy-in is one of the most critical – but most often overlooked – aspects of social entrepreneurship. This is because it challenges our assumptions about the way things are and can be, our basic assumptions about power, helping, achieving, and succeeding. Sometimes as human beings we feel that the organizations tend to overdo it and disregard the hard work that employees perform.
      To avoid this I have come with few solutions that might undo that. First the organization should ensure that the existing policies and procedures are well documented and provide access to all. Implement a public mechanism for individuals to provide feedback to administration and management; the good places to facilitate public feedback include staff meetings, Intranet forums and suggestion boxes.

      Publicly recognize positive contributions. Specifically identify employees that have provided good ideas, even if they will not be adopted, and let others know about their contributions. Good ways to get the word out include staff meeting announcements, mass emails, website announcements, and bulletin boards. Also, don’t forget the personal thank you.


  2. I believe employers can gain buy-in from employees even if in the past that company has not had a stellar track record of worker empowerment. For this to happen I believe one of three things must occur. First, a change in management would immediately wipe away the past and give everyone a fresh start. Second, management could wait around for attrition and turn-over of their employees and eventually have a set of new people that would not have memory of the past performance of the company. Both would not be the ideal situation. The third concept would be to set a culture for the company that would empower workers to strive for excellence. Frederick Winslow Taylor believed this could be accomplished by workers who felt, “At work, my opinions seem to count.” He knew that if employees were made part of the process and their opinions were important to the decision making process of the company then workers in turn would, “do their work in the best way and in the quickest time.” Thus, the worker is happy and is motivated to produce better quality work in a shorter time. The company is happy because the have just increased their output without increasing input. I win-win situation for everyone.

    Wagner, Rogg. December 2006. Gallup Press. The Seventh Element of Great Managing.

    • Jeff, truly excellent comments! You are on the mark.
      Your research on the topic is impressive. I mean…when you start quoting Frederick Taylor, the Father of Scientific Management, as an worker advocate—you’ve done your homework!

      I encourage everyone to follow Jeff’s depth on this topic!!!

      • My only comment to this would be the “change in management” statement. If I am in a corporate environment that does not exactly bolster a positive corporate culture, would it benefit me to see a significant amount of the leadership of the company eliminated? Honestly, it would seem to me that the company doesn’t value it’s employees, especially when the bottom line doesn’t reflect growth and employee synergy. If there has been history of the company’s leadership not being able to cultivate a positive culture and harmonious relationships between workers, the best solution would be to educate the current leadership about how to create a positive culture. Education and research are key. If given the proper tools to use, I would think that someone who possessed enough talent to get into a leadership position in a company would be able to learn and effectively institute new policies and techniques that could bring the culture back to a positive position (All Business). In doing this, the leadership of the company will be more educated and invested in the corporate culture of the company, while at the same time happy and more invested themselves because they are secure in their positions.

        Cultivating a Positive Corporate Culture. Retrieved from

  3. I believe in order for a company to succeed; that company must want and strive to get their employee’s buy-in. A company must say and then show that their employees matter to them and have a voice. The showing is the hard part so that employees feel their thoughts and work are appreciated. A good simple idea would be to present an employee with a “spot award” when they are working hard to comply with a new policy or procedure. A small gesture like a simple paper certificate is good for morale and then the employees would know their time and effort is being noticed and appreciated. Being appreciated is very important and cannot be taken for granted. You can read the 7 steps Chris Anderson believes would empower employees on the link below to get some more input on what he feels would help in strengthening communication and performance. Effective managers and different from other managers in one main area. They can get the most out of their employees because they truly empower and praise their employees for a job well done.


  4. To be fair I believe employees must also have faith in the company they work for. Many of times we jump to conclusion that the company which employs us, is the instigator. However a new appraoch to this issue may help benefit both the employees and the company, as well as helping shape the future work place for newer candidtates. For example according to Gregg Lederman it is crucial for employees to show interest in their place of business. He goes on to explain 4 simple steps that help employeers in buying in their employees. The article also offers suggestions on how companies can make their employees feel more welcome and needed. It is crucial to include all members of staff on board whether small decsions are being made or bigger ones might insue. It is unfair though and not advised for employers to jump to conclusion and push and shove employees from the beginning. As employers begin to sense the change in attitude and work ethic, nicer and more gentle work ethic must be introduced in order to ensure the future stability and consistency of the work place as well as making sure all projects whether successful or not are given 100% by all who are putting towards its production.

    Author: Gregg Lederman

  5. John Williamson’s book ‘The Leader-Manager’ explains that the modern organization theory requires recognition that the members of organizations and society possess divergent goals and motives. It is unlikely that managers and their subordinates seek the same goals or outcomes, and this creates organizational conflicts. And like Jeff Hancock’s posting stated, this could be solved through selection: by either selecting management or selecting employees that share the same desires. But let’s be honest, if a company needs to do that they are probably facing bigger issues than employee motivations. If management is truly concerned about their negative track record for empowerment, then the thing to do is to make an example. Management must take an employee’s idea and implement it. Show the others that management does in fact listen to ideas. Perhaps once a year recognize the employee that submits the best idea.

    Williamson, J. 1982. The Leader-Manager

  6. It is well know employee empowerment is an essential component in creating an environment of continuous improvement. Yet, too often managers are unwilling to sacrifice control, thus impeding creativity, motivation, and productivity. (Xiaomeng, & Bartol, 2010) We see such situations parodied in movies like Office Space and cartoons such as Dilbert. Employees are stuck performing the same mundane tasks, feeling their work is not appreciated. A corporate culture will not be changed overnight, but I’ve researched several recommendations for managers wanting to make their organizational structure more horizontal. A manager must first lead by example, because actions speak much louder than words. Secondly place decision making authority on the frontline. Often managers will be surprised by the creative solutions their employees implement that previous managers overlooked. Third eliminate barriers between departments. Employees will appreciate their co-worker’s role in the company more and find increased meaning in their own work. (Attiyah, 2004) Cross-training can also be implemented to achieve this. With these practices in place, effective and knowledgeable future managers can be promoted from within the company, creating a positive environment of upward mobility.

    Attiyah, R. (2004, December 31). Employee buy-in is essential to develop a climate of continuous improvement. Business First, Retrieved from

    Xiaomeng, Z, & Bartol, K.M. (2010). Linking empowering leadership and employee creativity: the influence of psychological empowerment, intrinsic motivation, and creative process engagement. Academy of Management Journal, 53(1), Retrieved from

  7. Employee buy-in is something that most all organizations will have to deal with at some point in time, because as in life things change. Change in processes is something that happens often in organizations, and if the employees within the organization do not buy-in to the changes that a company is making there is usually a lack in productivity because workers are unhappy or simply do not know how a new process or technology works. Managers and leaders are the people that employees in an organization look to when analyzing new company policies or processes. Since this is true managers and leaders must also believe in the new processes and make a conscious effort to show employees that how the company is changing if worthwhile. Thomas Herrington and Patrick T. Malone have developed a six step process that helps to increase employee buy-in when a new process change or problem arises. The link will show in greater detail the six steps, but basically the steps help how and why the employee should buy into a new policy, procedure, or technology. Communication is one of the most important part of employee buy-in, so without it the employee will be lost.

    Herrinton, Thomas, and Patrick T. Malone. “Six Steps to Getting Employee Buy-In by G. Thomas Herrington and Patrick T. Malone.” Human Resources – HR Articles, Information & HR Portal | IQPC. 2 Dec. 2009. Web. 14 Sept. 2010. .

  8. Good leaders lead by example, often times not needing to say a single word to produce their desired results. At Maryville College, we have a new President who started in early July. After a couple of years where pay cuts and layoffs shook the trust of employees in management, his focus is on re-vitalizing the workforce of the college, and getting employees to believe in the mission of the institution.

    In August he “led by example” by donning shorts and a t-shirt and helping parents move their freshmen into the dormitories on campus, carrying boxes, couches, etc. This small act gained the trust and ultimate buy in from many in the ranks of Maryville College by showing what the culture of our business is all about: the spirit of community and helping others.

    Although not referring specifically to business, Mahatma Ghandi perfectly described the above action by upper management when he said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”(1) By both declaring expectations of employees and living them out personally, management can achieve the buy in they are looking for.


  9. I agree with Mark Fugate on the leading by example. I too apply that in my daily walk with my team members.

    I also believe that if a manager is able to get his members to see that he/she is listening to them on ways of improvement by either comment cards or in general team meeting, the members are feeling like they have a say so into the company’s process.

  10. I think the first step companies have to take to gain employee buy- in, with a less than stellar track record is to change the company as it relates to employee empowerment. They must regain the trust of the employees, showing them that they are indeed an asset to the company and are not just getting lip service. When companies want to increase the chance of success when implementing changes for our employees to buy – in to, try linking those changes to what’s important to your employee In other words, don’t just focus on the benefits to the overall company. Instead, focus on the benefits to what your specific staff does. The company should look at Three questions to make the employee feel like they are really valuable and there comfort in job is being considered.
    1.What does my staff want to keep doing? Think about the things that employees find desirable when it comes to managing workloads, working with people, or working in your staff. You will find many things that employees see as positive; or at the very least, that employees do not want eliminated. Explain how the change will allow for the continuation of these desirables
    .2. What does my staff want eliminated? This could involve undesirable tasks, dreaded workloads, or distasteful people interactions. Consider complaints about excessive meeting , unmanageable workloads, or uncooperative colleagues. Discuss ways the change will lead to the reduction or elimination of these items.
    3. What does my staff want to start doing? If you ask your employees what they want to do. You will undoubtedly come up with several things they want to begin. These might involve something involving more time off, going someplace special, or handling an assignment in a certain way. Talk about how the change will lead to the start of something new.

  11. As Felix Harris said, “When employees are appreciated, they work harder. A machine is only as good as its operator.” I believe that appreciation can make or break employee buy-in. I agree with Jeff in how he thinks organizations can attain employee buy-in. However, there are some things I would add. I think there should be some kind of measure of success to see that the strategy is working. Also, there should be some way of getting feedback from the employees. Example, at staff meetings or have suggestion boxes. After all, we are trying to get the employees involved in the business. Last but not least, I think there should be public recognition for achievements among the employees. An incentive for achievements would also be good as it would encourage employees to do their best.

  12. Achieving employee buy-in for a new project or idea is critical for a company’s success and efficiency. In a recent article contributor Cullen Lin outlined key components for successful buy-in by employees.

    The existing and new procedures should be well documented. In order for employees to embrace a new procedure and feel empowered they must have knowledge about the changes. An employee will not embrace change without knowledge.

    Management should accept feedback in a group setting such as a department meeting regarding the project. A private forum should also be used so that employees can discuss concerns or suggestions with anonymity. A private forum could uncover a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed.

    Management should publicly recognize the employees’ contributions. Blast emails, department meeting and department newsletters are an excellent way to recognize an employee or group of employees. I personally have always appreciated a hand written note regarding a job well done. In our society of email and high tech communications someone taking the time out of their day to pen a handwritten note makes the impression that this leader is sincere in his communications.

    I feel that communications are critical to a successful buy-in from employees.

    Lin, C. (n.d.). How to increase employee buy-in, Retrieved September 19, 2010, from

  13. Ellison R.’s remarks on focusing on what is important to the employee as a means to regain employee trust in the company struck me as key to the discussion on buy-in when implementing, sustaining or managing a socio-technical system in an organization. In addition, in the video, Dick Beatty advises to hire someone who loves what you do. What is important to the employee and what is important to management should not conflict but complement one another. “When teams think about achieving the ultimate goal, they attach more importance to their work and hence remain more united for that purpose.” (Karagara) When an organization has a history of devaluing the unique talents of their workers, the organization must refocus on its mission to improve workforce culture. Karagara also reminds us that a cohesive team is positively related to productivity. When the team is mission-driven, the common ground is a foundation that can be built upon to improve corporate culture.

    Karagara, A. (n.d.). How to build cohesiveness in a team. Retrieved from

  14. Even a superficial examination of the available business surveys (in our university’s Polling the Nations’ database) would lead one to believe that evidence exists to suggest a probable disconnect between Corporate America and the U.S. populace. One such example is a poll conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion (2009), where 58% of the respondents indicated that corporate level executives demonstrated poor levels of leadership during the economic crisis (which, truly, is still on-going).

    More so today, than ever, chief level executives have a difficult balance to strike between managing an organization and ensuring a company culture that is desired by its employees. Their objective is to produce market gains without causing significant workforce strains. Employee empowerment has been beneficial in facilitating this dichotomy to a degree; however, it has also precipitated a wide-variety of problems.

    Insomuch, I would put forth a slightly different notion – ownership. Researchers Linn Dyne and Jon Pierce clearly demonstrate the relevance and potential implications of this concept (2004). They purport that the inherent sense of loyalty and the inevitable emotional affects of such a workplace theoretical perspective can cause employees to adopt a more favorable position concerning their place of employment – which ultimately leads to a greater sense of responsibility and a more efficient body of employees. Consequently, it is reasonably foreseeable that this very concept could counter an organizations’ poor employee track record and eventually lead to a large-scale employee buy-in.


    Dyne, L. and Pierce, J. (2004, June). Psychological ownership and feelings of possession: Three Field Studies Predicting Employee Attitudes and Organizational Citizenship Behavior, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 439-459.

    Marist Institute For Public Opinion (2009, February 25). United States. Retrieved from Polling the Nations database.

  15. There are many strategies a company can use to gain employee buy-in, for those with an unresponsive track record it can be difficult to find the right channel. Getting employees on the right track after lay-offs or the implementation of new technology is a strenuous task that cannot be completed without reconstructing employee views of the company and clearly communicating goals and expectations. If it is part of your company vision and it is communicated clearly, they can buy in. If there is a lack of consistency, they will have a difficult time buying in even if they want to. Health becomes part of the mission when a company is trying to be successful in all areas. Just like you want employees to focus on goals and reach them in their respective areas, health becomes part of this when a wellness program or business health strategy program is implemented. In essence if an organization wants its employees to buy-in to anything they should focus on health, when companies hold health as a value and as part of their vision, they are setting themselves up for success. As we’ve seen over the years, companies with healthy employees are able to see benefits in insurance costs, productivity and many other areas that are improved by a healthy energetic workforce. Your employee health program needs to be focused on employee buy-in. There should be a specific plan in place and that plan should be geared toward getting people engaged and believing in the process. The process is important, but the outcomes are even more important. When you think about the outcomes of employee health programming, it is even clearer that people will buy in. Everyone wants to be healthy. Everyone wants to feel good. A company coming from a perspective of “We want to help you reach your goals.” will be successful and so will the employees by:

    Improving Employee Health
    Decreasing Health Care Spending
    Increasing Your Employee Productivity
    Improving Employee Satisfaction and Retention;

    When the focus of an organization is building employee buy-in and regaining trust the best investment is employees, together they create healthy and successful cultures.

    Joe Byrd

  16. Currently, Ericsson Services Inc. is trying to create a managed services business here in North America. ESI has signed a 7 year contract with Sprint for Ericsson to maintain their cellular infrastructure across the nation. If Sprint would have been running their maintenance department correctly, Sprint would still be in charge of their network. Currently, ESI is comprised of over 6200 disgruntle ex Sprint employees and they are going through a tough time of getting employees to buy in to the new ways of working instead of the old way with Sprint. So how is Ericsson trying to remedy this situation?

    Kevin Hohman said, “You need to surround yourself with others who share your passion.” ESI is doing this by an initial employee turnover, holding training seminars, offering incentives bonuses, and now offering a company match on 401k. In addition to this, ESI has a plan to turn over the workforce by a minimum of 10% a year until the disgruntle employees are filtered out. The most important part of trying to change the environment of a company is to create turnover, recruit better talent, and for management to show passion in their future. Changing employees ability to buy in to what the company is doing can be tricky and cannot be changed overnight, but if management has a plan and carries the plan to the end, changing the environment is possible.

    1) (The Last Word) Kevin M. Hohman!xrn_25_0_A141909014?sw_aep=tel_a_lmu

  17. The mission of a business is the hook and bait for employee buy-in. Employees have to coincide with the business’s mission and asks themselves if this is something they see themselves doing. Naturally, employees do the work they are paid for, and in today’s economy, this is most certainly the case. However, at some point, one has to consider if he believes in the work he is doing – does it matter if the business stands for something great? – or does it matter that your check is cut every Friday? It is, therefore, very important to create a mission that will attract employees in being the driving force behind that mission. Otherwise, the employee will be working against your business, and ultimately, your mission.

  18. When an employee perceives the future decisions surrounding his position to be out of reach and not within his power to persuade, their buy-in will be almost non-existent. The true way to regain the trust of employees that their input has some weight and isn’t falling on deaf ears will take patience and persuasion. A first step would be in public recognition of good relevant input from employees which would result in an explicit reward on the employee’s behalf. As more empowerment is perceived by the front line workers they will not require nearly as much explicit reward, they would be satisfied implicitly by being allowed to lead certain efforts where they have participated. This kind of rewarding management style will counteract the creation of those employees which are good at obeying rules but cannot think for the company, “employees internalize the choiceless- doer model and stick to it faithfully. The employee follows hard-and-fast rules, seeing only black and white because that is what she has been told to see.” (Martin 2010)

    A manager must also ask, “Is buy-in what I really want, or is empowered employees the better way to align front line implementation with corporate strategies?” For buy-in doesn’t imply the idea was self generated, but is indicative of a top down strategic push from corporate and therefore a push from frontline management. True empowerment requires no buy-in but allows ideas to be self-generated, because it enables good decision making to occur on a horizontal level amongst those who have ownership of the process and implementation strategies.

    Martin, Roger L., (2010). The execution trap: Drawing a line between strategy and execution almost guarantees failure. Harvard Business Review, 64-71

  19. The company must re-position itself and start empowering employees. Unlike being unethical, a company that has a track record of not empowering employees can easily change that. There does not need to be lay-offs, but just a shift in focus. A company that has never asked for employee insight on a decision can start asking for employee insight. In reference to the Maryville college comment, if that previous president who had a track record of not empowering employees all of a sudden put on those shorts and t-shirt and helped freshmen move-in, would you start thinking differently about that president? People can change.
    Ten principles on how to empower your employees: 1-demonstrate the you value people (much like the new Maryville College president has done), 2-share leadership vision, 3-share goals and directions, 4-trust people 5- provide information for decision making, 6-delegate authority and impact opportunities, not just more work, 7 – Provide frequent feedback, 8 –solve problems: don’t pinpoint problem people, 9-listen to learn and ask questions to provide guidance, and 10-help employees feel rewarded and recognized. Even if you are a manager and are currently not following these principles, you can change that and start empowering your employees!

    Reference: Top Ten Principles of Employee Empowerment .

  20. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “6.9 million workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at least 3 years,” from January 2007 to December 2009. With an unemployment rate of 9.6% and looming economic pressures affecting all levels of business operations, both manager and employee feel the pressures that exist. This past August, over 150,000 workers were affected as a result of mass layoffs in the manufacturing sector. Today, Americans are working longer hours and working well pass retirement age in efforts to secure wealth for retirement and for future generations. But with massive layoffs, decreasing 401K balances, and a loss of feeling secure, the average worker feels vulnerable during these turbulent times. Companies can print policies and develop programs that are geared to boosting company morale; however, their response to adverse situations and the ability to stick by employees during adversity speaks volumes to employees. Companies have a social responsibility to make employees feel secure so they will be more inclined to increase their performance.

    Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey (26 August 2010). Retrieved from: on October 2, 2010.

    Mass Layoff Statistics. (23 September 2010). Retrieved from: on October 2, 2010.

  21. When it involves looking out for the best interest of employees, the USA Today poll showed nearly half of those interviewed said that corporations can be trusted only a little or not at all. I believe organizations can best gain employee buy-in through trust. How does one create trust in the workplace? Eileen Brownell, president of Training Solutions says “Trust is carefully done one building block at a time. It endures through time when organizations and individuals prove themselves by their actions on a daily basis.” She recommends several business strategies on how corporations can build and secure the trust of their employees by keeping commitments and promises to employees, communicating honestly and openly, listening carefully, keeping confidences, being accessible, telling the truth, showing respect, being fair and consistent, cooperating in uncomfortable situations, avoiding excuses and blaming, and being accountable. Overall, employees just want to be valued and when they are appreciated, they work harder.

    (2000). Gain employee buy-in through trust. HR Briefing (10801847), 6. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

  22. Negativity seems to be infectious and affects productivity and profitability. Negativity can lead to increased turnover, lateness, absenteeism, customer complaints, errors, accidents and illness. Negativity arises from a sense of hopelessness or loss of control. Companies and employees have the ability to minimize negativity. As employees you can stop encouraging negative coworkers by no longer listening to their complaints or steering the conversation in a positive direction. Leaders should hold negative employees accountable for changing their behavior by providing examples of their unacceptable behavior. If there is no legitimate reason for those behaviors, then the employee should be expected to provide a solution to the issue. While tough, the loss of one negative employee can be viewed as serving the greater good of the company. Companies and employees can prevent some negativity by presenting solutions when problems are present. As discussed in previous blogs, managers should communicate throughout the change process the reasons for the change and how the outcome will benefit those involved, train employees, involve employees in planning and implementation, as well as provide feedback and celebrate success. Remember that positive and negative are opposite forces and you can’t fight negativity with negativity.

    Topchik, Gary S.

  23. We know that buy-in securities-related term referring to a situation in which an investor must repurchase shares of stock because the seller either failed to deliver the shares or did not deliver them in a timely fashion. The buyer notifies exchange officials, who in turn notify the seller of the delivery failure. The exchange assists the buyer in purchasing the stock again, with the original seller having to make up the price difference if the new shares are more expensive than originally agreed to. I think employee can gain buy-in from employees even if the company has not had a stellar track record of worker empowerment. As an employee we want to be part of our own decisions in the company. The company manager should know that employees want their opinion in their own decisions. We know that managers are there for the company but employees want to be appreciated when they do a better job.

  24. There is not one simple solution to improve employee motivation, but an entire culture change. The most important thing to gaining employees trust back and getting them to buy into a new process is being honest. Many companies today will lie to their employees and then spring an idea on them. If they are honest and include the employees in the decision such as getting their feedback and views on concerns, employees will be more acceptive to the change.

    As the cost to recruit, hire, and train new employees continues to rise, it is cheaper to keep a current employee. Happy employees work harder and less likely to leave for other positions. Other companies, most industrial, are trying to promote customer satisifaction among their employees to decrease the number join an union.

  25. The first step is for the organization to admit there have been issues in the past and not hide from their past. If the organization has the funding it would be helpful to hire someone who is an expert in empowering employees. This would show the employees the organization is really making an effort to talk the talk and walk the walk. From there a few areas the organization should focus on is demonstrating the organization values people, share leadership’s visions, frequent feedback, involve the employees in problem solving, and rewards for a job well done. These steps would be helpful in regaining trust.

  26. When possessing less than a stellar track record of worker empowerment, an organization can gain and increase employee buy-in by allowing the employees to “take a stepped-up role in shaping the firm’s culture” (Kauffman, 2010). Managers and/or leaders of the organization must encourage employee involvement and generate employee feedback. Promoting the involvement of all those who are an integral component to the organization’s success encourages them to generate ideas, put plans into action, and create further beneficial initiatives for the organization (Kauffman, 2010). By allowing employees to have such a significant hand in decision making and generating new ideas for the organization, management will demonstrate their confidence in the employees’ knowledge and performance. In turn, this will increase empowerment among the workers and their support and loyalty to the organization.

    Kauffman, C. (2010). Employee involvement: A new blueprint for success. Journal of Accountancy, 209(5), 46-49.

  27. According to Anonymous Employee – “By failing to prevent or repair poor employee morale, there is a high risk of employee burnout and overall dissatisfaction. This is an extremely expensive way to do business because it leads to poor productivity and increased absences from work.”

    What they do not mention is it leads to higher employee turnover which wastes an organization’s investment in attracting, hiring and training those employees.

    The website also notes “Remember that poor employee morale is not the cause of these problems, but it is instead a reaction to another part of the workplace that is not functioning at its best. Therefore, if the problem is to be solved, the reason for the poor employee morale must be identified.”

    The simple truth is, if your leadership/managers do not step up and run the company in a fairly up-front manner and seek out problem areas (including, but not limited to, toxic employees, a poor process/system or less than acceptable comp/bennies packages), gaining employee buy-in will be impossible. Engaging employees in the system will go a long way as well.

    Anonymous Employee
    Beating Poor Employee Morale in Today’s Workplace.

  28. In a recent article contributor Cullen Lin outlined key components for successful buy-in by employees.

    The existing and new procedures should be well documented. In order for employees to embrace a new procedure and feel empowered they must have knowledge about the changes. An employee will not embrace change without knowledge.

    Management should accept feedback in a group setting such as a department meeting regarding the project. A private forum should also be used so that employees can discuss concerns or suggestions with anonymity. A private forum could uncover a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed.

    Management should publicly recognize the employees’ contributions. Blast emails, department meeting and department newsletters are an excellent way to recognize an employee or group of employees. I personally have always appreciated a hand written note regarding a job well done. In our society of email and high tech communications someone taking the time out of their day to pen a handwritten note makes the impression that this leader is sincere in his communications.
    I feel that communications are critical to a successful buy-in from employees.

    Lin, C. (n.d.). How to increase employee buy-in, Retrieved September 19, 2010, from

  29. I feel that a cultural change in the organization to empower the employees must be implemented and followed with vigor. According to the authors of A longitudinal analysis of the impact of workplace empowerment on work satisfaction, “changes in perceived structural empowerment had direct effects on changes in psychological empowerment and job satisfaction. Changes in psychological empowerment did not explain additional variance in job satisfaction beyond that explained by structural empowerment. The results suggest that fostering environments that enhance perceptions of empowerment can have enduring positive effects on employees.” Once the employees see that the management staff is serious about cultural change the employees will respond with positive productive results. The key is that the company must be committed to the cultural change.
    Heather K Spence Laschinger, Joan E Finegan, Judith Shamian, & Piotr Wilk. (2004). A longitudinal analysis of the impact of workplace empowerment on work satisfaction. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(4), 527-545. Retrieved November 26, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 628347021).

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